Book Review: Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Gallant by V.E. Schwab is a modern day dark gothic young adult fairy tale filled with ghosts and death. Gallant is a hauntingly good story, that seeped into my dreams. The plot is half mystery and half gothic horror. The pace of the story is very rapid and doesn’t let up. Olivia the lead character is born mute, which would be a challenge for any writer to make compelling, having others talk and you lead character only gesture, but Schwab makes it work seamlessly. The dark gothic horror elements don’t go too dark and seem appropriate for the young adult audience as low as 12. The world building and mystery are done really well, I loved deep diving into the family history and the curse. The ending was done really well is both crowd pleasing and sentimental. This is my sixth Victoria Schwab or V.E. Schwab book that I have read and it is now a close second to Villainous which is still my favorite. So Gallant is in good company if you’ve read my review for Villainous and know how special it is and gallant coming in as a close second. Gallant was published by Greenwillow Books and published on March 1st 2022.

Plot Summary: Olivia is mute teenager and lives in a home for girls. She doesn’t have real friends and is constantly teased, but she does need them since she can see and communicate with ghosts or ghouls as she calls them. She knows how sign thanks to one sister, but she has come and gone and now communicates through writing which she hates or gestures. She can not remember here family but has a journal of her mother’s who was rumored to go insane and reading the writing it looks like it. She dreams of her mother whisking her away, when one day she gets a letter from an uncle, saying he’s been searching everywhere for her and must come to Gallant. Gallant is a place she knows from her mother’s journal, where she write Gallant is not safe. Olivia arrives at huge manor bigger than her girls home. When she arrives it is not with a welcome, the residents didn’t know she was coming, and want to send her away instantly, they haven’t heard about her, the invitation came from an uncle that died a year ago, who invited her to the manor and what do they want?

What I Liked: I liked how gothic and dark the story got. I instantly feel in love with the character of Olivia. I love a house with secrets story and there’s so many secrets. The villain was pretty terrifying and liked how dark and creepy he was. I loved the journals and their lyrical writing. I loved how fast the plot moved, when the action slows down you find more secrets out so I thought it was super interesting even when a little slow. The finale was super emotional and satisfying I loved every second of it. I loved the plot twist, there’s only one and it is pretty shocking and smart. The cover when you read the story really works well.

What I Disliked: I needed a little more about Olivia’s father, that was the only part that I was scratching my head, Schwab did make an attempt but I needed more.

Recommendation: Read this book it will have you turning pages long into the night, and for me it seeped into my dreams. This is a dark gothic fairy tale that feels pretty timeless, the only thing marking time is a car. Schwab is a great writer that keeps coming up with such original work. I rated Gallant by V. E. Schwab 5 out of 5 stars. This book is currently in my top 5 of books published this year.

Book Review: Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune

Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune is a novel about life but takes place in afterlife/inbetween. The description that got me to pay attention was A Man Called Ove in the afterlife. After having read it A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is really good comparison, but I feel it also reminded me of the Albert Brooks film Defending Your Life as well. This book is whimsical and a provides a really interesting view on the afterlife. The characters are memorable and the writing makes you truly care for the majority of them. I loved the beginning chapter so much and what it does for characterization, the reader comes away knowing exactly who Wallace is. The pace has a few bumps in the road I liked the beginning but the middle got almost too philosophical and took away from the story a little bit, when the countdown got introduced the story got instantly better. The ending was a nice wrap up and will make you feel for the characters at the end. The romance angle worked for the most part, as you saw the love between Hugo and Wallace start to grow. The is very LGTBQ friendly as the two leads are gay. This is my second T.J. Klune novel after I was blown away by The House in the Cerulean Sea, Under the Whisper Door is not as good but those are enormous shoes to fill.

The Plot Summary: Wallace is a lawyer and it is his whole life. He has no family, no friends and no life. Actually he died and has no life, a reaper finds him at his funeral, with only 4 in attendance his ex-wife and 3 law firm partners. Wallance does want to be dead he wants to be at work. The reaper brings him to a place he doesn’t expect, a tea shop. Where the reaper, Mei, works with the ferryman, Hugo, who’s job is to get the ghost to go through the door to the other side. There are other ghost there as well Hugo’s grandfather and his pet dog. They are there to help Wallace accept he is dead and go through the door, but Wallace finds a life, love, and finally a reason to not leave this world.

What I Liked: A really cool look at the afterlife. It would be cool if there was an acceptance period after death to get you acclimated to passing on. The characters Klune writes take on a life of their own and they become like your friends this is the second novel that he has done this to me. The relationships that are formed was great, romantic and friendship. I liked the side story about Nancy and how that worked out. I liked the end result of the Husk. The opening was one of the best. I loved the bits of humor through out especially from the grandfather.

What I Disliked: I did not like the look of the manager, I liked what the character represented but did not like the look. I did not like that sex was brought in at the end, Hugo and Wallace had this beautiful relationship and then sex is thrown in at the very end, first with the manager making graphic gestures of gay sex then the innuendos from Wallace. I felt it ruined their sweet subtle romance that was about hugs until they can touch then it was all about sex, it was too fast. The middle was just a bit too slow.

Recommendation: Read this book, it is easy to become attached to the characters, it provides such a unique look after death you will hope it is real. I had some fun with this book. I rate Under the Whispering Door by T. J. Klune 4 out of 5 stars. For the two books I’ve read of KLUNE he has a combined rating of 4.5. I will read another Klune when I get a chance.

Book Review: Faith of the Fallen by Terry Goodkind

Faith of the Fallen by Terry Goodkind is book 6 in The Sword of Truth series. It is the continuous tale of Richard and Kahlan and how they fight oppression and tyranny in their world. This novel is an ode to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, We find out the villain that has been at war with them through 4 books was a Communist, and we see how the villain home town runs. I have mixed feelings about this narrative, the end worked really well but at some points it felt like agenda writing and took away from the story, and even inserting verbatim Ayn Rand quotes. When showing tyranny and how the system of works, it is good, but the hard left turn one of the best villain of the series does feels forced to get you to read about a communist society. The ending was super exciting with lots and twist and turns. The flow of this book was one of the best one of my biggest complaints in Goodkind is not switching perspectives enough but this book was the best so far and really kept the story going. The villain was really exciting at the beginning, then changed, but an interesting character that had been in the sidelines for the last 4 books. The battle scenes were really good I feel like they ties Stone of Tears book 2 for excitement. Goodkind keeps his streak of making Richard and Kahlan getting out of impossible situations he loves these characters but he also love torturing them. The gore goes up a notch in one betrayal scene with fire. Some of the character’s death’s hurt in this one, it felt to premature for what the character was becoming. Kahlan’s story was by far my favorite which is a switch because it is usually Richard’s.

The Plot of Wizard’s First Rule: Richard Cypher is a wood guide that that has recently lost his father to a brutal murder with no suspects. His father and him had a code where one would leave an item in a jar my the door, the item is a rare vine that should not grow in his land. Richard is on a mission to find the vine and it takes him on the outskirts of the boundary of Westland. While investigating he finds a beautiful woman, Kahlan being chased by four big men. Richard knowing the trails can get to the woman first. He gets to the woman first and ends up defending her and defeating the men. they become fast friends as the woman in mystified by Richard and the way he treats her, it is revealed she is from the other side of the boundary, the Midlands, the boundary is protected by miles of border wall of the underworld, and not used to the kindness from men. Richard takes her to an old healer/ cloud reader friend, Zedd. Quickly Richard finds out that his old friend is not what he seems but a powerful wizard, one of the last of his kind. Kahlan is very important to the cause and Richard is special and anointed the Seeker of Truth, which comes with a powerful weapon the Sword of Truth that is a powerful magical item that focuses emotion into the blade. Richard finds out the true nature of the world that there is a Threat in Darken Rahl that involves tearing down the boundaries and ruling the world. It is up to Kahlan, Zedd and Richard to stop him.

The Plot of Stone of Tears: The Plot: Two days after Richard defeated Darken Rahl. A creature from the underworld has escaped and it wants to mark Richard so he can open the underworld for the Keeper. Zedd deals with these creatures first and must find Richard and seek side in closing the veil to the underworld. Richard and Kahlan are returning a boy back to the mud people when a creature from the underworld comes for them. They defeat the creature but Richard gets migraines that make it feel like his head will explode they keep getting worse and worse. He meets 3 Sisters of Light that day they can help him but they must collar him and own him to teach him to control his new magic. He refuses and the sister creates suicide right then and there, saying that was chance one you will have two more chances to get help of you do note, you will die.

The Plot for Blood of the Fold: A funeral is held at the Palace of the Prophets for the Prelate and the Prophet. They were burned by Sisters of the Dark who have infiltrated the Sisters of the Light. Sister Verna who is the a good Sister of the Light and a friend to Richard Rahl the Seeker of Truth, is set up to be the new Prelate she doesn’t know if this is for real or a trick of the Sisters of the Dark, the prophesies foretold that the false Prelate will destroy the Palace of the Prophets. She believes this to be free when she unravels a conspiracy that makes the prophesy come to pass. Richard having just came from seeing Kahlan and confirming she is alive when the world thinks she is dead. Richard waits at the Mother Confesser’s temple and fights the Mriswith a deadly snake like creatures that he saw and killed in the old world but has never seen one in this world. The Mriswith have now started to plague the land, they are being lead by something Richard must find out. Richard has started to embrace the Rahl part of his name he believes that the only way to unite the Midlands is be the supreme ruler, with all of Midland under his rule. He tries for peace by strong arming The Blood the Fold leader, the very same man who thinks he murdered Kahlan, but the Mriswith help him as their ruler wants him to live, and has a purpose for him. The ruler is known as the Dreamwalker and quickly takes over the Sister of the Dark and the Blood of the Fold, he wants Richard defeated and the Palace of the Prophets to be his especially the slow aging spell attached to it. Richard and Verna must fight the Dreamwalker on to different fronts.

The Plot for Temple of the Winds: Richard and Kahlan are finally reunited and talking wedding. They get three very special visitors One is a man claiming to be Richard’s brother an illegitimate son of Richard’s father Darken Rahl. The second visitor is Nadine a girl from Richard’s village who was sent by the witch woman Shota to marry Richard. The final visitor is an assassin who’s job it is to kill Richard. Through interrogation of the assassin they find that he was not alone, and with a sister of the dark that work for the Dreamwalker. The Sister has started a plague which starts a prophesy for Richard if he does nothing millions will die, if he wants to fight Kahlan will betray him . and Ricard will be no more. When the first victim of the plague dies his spirt takes over his body and talks about the winds This leads them to find out of a spiritual place called the Temple of the Winds that could hold the key to the cure and stop the plague. The price to enter the Temple of the Winds might be too high?

The Plot for Soul of the Fire: Richard and Kahlan are finally married by the Mud People and has reunited with Zedd. The wedding bliss does not last long as Richard feels something not right…with a chicken. This isn’t the only thing two of the Mud People children has died by mysterious circumstances, and everyone with magic has started to lose it. Zedd ask Richard and Kahlan about the Chimes, the beings from the underworld that saved the world from the dark magical plague, the Chimes manifest in water, air, and fire . Zedd fraked out that Kahlan said them out loud, but in his research the Chimes can only stay in this world if called by the third wife, Kahlan is Richard’s second since he was married to Nadine in the last book and did not last. Zedd with prelate Ann knows that somehow the Chimes are here but he knows Ricard will be safe in the Wizards Keep, so he makes up a creature the Lurk and fakes an illness so Richard and Kahlan will race off to the Keep while Zedd can defeat it. On Richard’s way to the keep he runs into Du Chaillu a slave girl he was chained to and saved, she comes to Richard pregnant and calls him her husband, with her rules they are married. The Chimes are in this world.

The Plot Summary of Faith of the Fallen: After the aftermath of the last book with Kahlan getting brutally injured and can not use magic to heal her, Richard takes her to his old town when he was Richard Cypher a woods guide and not the Seeker of Truth. When he arrives the town doesn’t want him, that lies of The Order have spread and he is ruining their better life. Richard who just came from a town that rejected him for The Order has but him in an odd place where he doesn’t want to fight anymore or yet, because people don’t know what freedom is. Nicci a Sister of the Dark and one of Dreamwalker’s ,the leader of The Order, disciples, is on the fringe since for some reason the dreamwalker can’t always enter her mind. She defies him killing a leader in his army as an example. Nicci is called on by the Dreamwalker while she investigates how Ann a Sister of the Light and her old Prelate have escaped and the Dreamwalker can’t enter their minds. She finds out it is Richard is the key, when the dreamwalker can’t enter her mind she was thinking of Richard. She finds Richard and place a spell on Kahlan that if any harm comes to her it comes to Kahlan as well. She convinces Richard to come with her to live in the heart of The Order to convince him of it’s gifts she goes back to where she grew up. Kahlan and Cara take their anger out on the army of the Order who’s invading the Midlands.

What I Liked: The flow of this book is what I have been asking for and it was a lot better read. The climax to this book was so exciting five charters all meet up with their own agenda and things get messy but it was so fun to read and I felt it was a satisfying ending with what the characters went through. Nicci was a great villain she was super scary at the beginning I wanted more of that but I like where her character was at the end of this book and hope to see more of her. The battle scenes were great it reminded me of the best battle scenes from the Stone of Tears, and they brought back the snowy battles. Speaking of Snowy battles I love how Kahlan used the elements against the army that is not used to it. I loved the new side characters that were introduced, I don’t feel like I will se them in the next book but I liked their arch’s.

What I Disliked: Agenda writing, is something unavoidable but don’t make it obvious and don’t take a way from the story, and I felt this book was guilty on both counts. I don’t care about political backgrounds or any of that stuff as long as the story is there. I think this book went over the line and hurt the story a little. I still loved the resolution to the story and I found the society interesting, but I felt at times lectured than a part of the story. I did feel this book over described nature when Richard was in his home, I felt like I was reading Walden for a second. The beginning was a little slow.

Recommendation: despite this books hiccups it was a good entry into the series, just be warned of the agenda writing. I know I’m a rare person that can read anything if there’s a story there, and I know a lot that can’t. Saying that if your a fan of Atlas Shrugged you will get a treat, I have not read it but seen the movies, and then looked up Ayn Rand and saw direct quotes in this book. I rated Faith of the Fallen 4 out of 5 stars. I ranked the 6 Sword of Truth books that I have read from best to worst 1) Stone of Tears, 2) Temple of the Winds, 3) Faith of the Fallen, 4) Blood of the Fold, 5) Wizard’s First Rule, and 6) Soul of Fire.

Book Review: Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind

Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind is the 5th book in the Sword of Truth Series. Soul of Fire is a high fantasy epic adventure. This book is 50% more political than the other book so far, which the others have more of a mix of politics, adventure, romance and religion. This book toys with the reader, for the first time since the beginning of the series the three main characters are all together, Zedd, Kahlan, and Richard, and this moment last 20 -30 pages and their separated. I wanted this moment to last a lot longer. In Soul of the Fire the main characters of the series are side characters as Goodkind introduces three character we’ve never met before, and follow more than are main characters. These new character eventually grew on me but the needed to be broken up the with the characters we know especially when they get introduced, for the first 300 pages of the book we spent 90 pages with our heroes Kahlan, Zedd, and Richard, and spend the other 210 pages with completely new characters Beata, Fitch and Dalton. It wasn’t as bad as the Matrix following Kid, but it’s not great Beata and Fitch are pretty annoying. Dalton has one heck of an arc and my favorite of the new characters, his action in the finale are wild and really good writing. I liked the overall plots that we got with Richard and Kahlan. The plot will have some rolling of the eye’s I’m talking about you possessed chicken that’s not really a chicken. This was my least favorite book so far in the series, I hope it goes to concentrating on the central characters. Where the end of the book left off it seems like it will.

Below are the plots for the Sword of Truth series so far it could spoil plots of the whole series, be warned, but if you have read the series this mini – plots will remind you.

The Plot of Wizard’s First Rule: Richard Cypher is a wood guide that that has recently lost his father to a brutal murder with no suspects. His father and him had a code where one would leave an item in a jar my the door, the item is a rare vine that should not grow in his land. Richard is on a mission to find the vine and it takes him on the outskirts of the boundary of Westland. While investigating he finds a beautiful woman, Kahlan being chased by four big men. Richard knowing the trails can get to the woman first. He gets to the woman first and ends up defending her and defeating the men. they become fast friends as the woman in mystified by Richard and the way he treats her, it is revealed she is from the other side of the boundary, the Midlands, the boundary is protected by miles of border wall of the underworld, and not used to the kindness from men. Richard takes her to an old healer/ cloud reader friend, Zedd. Quickly Richard finds out that his old friend is not what he seems but a powerful wizard, one of the last of his kind. Kahlan is very important to the cause and Richard is special and anointed the Seeker of Truth, which comes with a powerful weapon the Sword of Truth that is a powerful magical item that focuses emotion into the blade. Richard finds out the true nature of the world that there is a Threat in Darken Rahl that involves tearing down the boundaries and ruling the world. It is up to Kahlan, Zedd and Richard to stop him.

The Plot of Stone of Tears: The Plot: Two days after Richard defeated Darken Rahl. A creature from the underworld has escaped and it wants to mark Richard so he can open the underworld for the Keeper. Zedd deals with these creatures first and must find Richard and seek side in closing the veil to the underworld. Richard and Kahlan are returning a boy back to the mud people when a creature from the underworld comes for them. They defeat the creature but Richard gets migraines that make it feel like his head will explode they keep getting worse and worse. He meets 3 Sisters of Light that day they can help him but they must collar him and own him to teach him to control his new magic. He refuses and the sister creates suicide right then and there, saying that was chance one you will have two more chances to get help of you do note, you will die.

The Plot for Blood of the Fold: A funeral is held at the Palace of the Prophets for the Prelate and the Prophet. They were burned by Sisters of the Dark who have infiltrated the Sisters of the Light. Sister Verna who is the a good Sister of the Light and a friend to Richard Rahl the Seeker of Truth, is set up to be the new Prelate she doesn’t know if this is for real or a trick of the Sisters of the Dark, the prophesies foretold that the false Prelate will destroy the Palace of the Prophets. She believes this to be free when she unravels a conspiracy that makes the prophesy come to pass. Richard having just came from seeing Kahlan and confirming she is alive when the world thinks she is dead. Richard waits at the Mother Confesser’s temple and fights the Mriswith a deadly snake like creatures that he saw and killed in the old world but has never seen one in this world. The Mriswith have now started to plague the land, they are being lead by something Richard must find out. Richard has started to embrace the Rahl part of his name he believes that the only way to unite the Midlands is be the supreme ruler, with all of Midland under his rule. He tries for peace by strong arming The Blood the Fold leader, the very same man who thinks he murdered Kahlan, but the Mriswith help him as their ruler wants him to live, and has a purpose for him. The ruler is known as the Dreamwalker and quickly takes over the Sister of the Dark and the Blood of the Fold, he wants Richard defeated and the Palace of the Prophets to be his especially the slow aging spell attached to it. Richard and Verna must fight the Dreamwalker on to different fronts.

The Plot for Temple of the Winds: Richard and Kahlan are finally reunited and talking wedding. They get three very special visitors One is a man claiming to be Richard’s brother an illegitimate son of Richard’s father Darken Rahl. The second visitor is Nadine a girl from Richard’s village who was sent by the witch woman Shota to marry Richard. The final visitor is an assassin who’s job it is to kill Richard. Through interrogation of the assassin they find that he was not alone, and with a sister of the dark that work for the Dreamwalker. The Sister has started a plague which starts a prophesy for Richard if he does nothing millions will die, if he wants to fight Kahlan will betray him . and Ricard will be no more. When the first victim of the plague dies his spirt takes over his body and talks about the winds This leads them to find out of a spiritual place called the Temple of the Winds that could hold the key to the cure and stop the plague. The price to enter the Temple of the Winds might be too high?

The Plot for this book Soul of the Fire: Richard and Kahlan are finally married by the Mud People and has reunited with Zedd. The wedding bliss does not last long as Richard feels something not right…with a chicken. This isn’t the only thing two of the Mud People children has died by mysterious circumstances, and everyone with magic has started to lose it. Zedd ask Richard and Kahlan about the Chimes, the beings from the underworld that saved the world from the dark magical plague, the Chimes manifest in water, air, and fire . Zedd fraked out that Kahlan said them out loud, but in his research the Chimes can only stay in this world if called by the third wife, Kahlan is Richard’s second since he was married to Nadine in the last book and did not last. Zedd with prelate Ann knows that somehow the Chimes are here but he knows Ricard will be safe in the Wizards Keep, so he makes up a creature the Lurk and fakes an illness so Richard and Kahlan will race off to the Keep while Zedd can defeat it. On Richard’s way to the keep he runs into Du Chaillu a slave girl he was chained to and saved, she comes to Richard pregnant and calls him her husband, with her rules they are married. The Chimes are in this world.

What I Liked: There’s is one heck of an epically brutal battle that the reader is not expecting, and it is great. I liked the arc of Dalton’s character and what he does in the finale, I like how the reader finds out about it later and has to put it together. I liked what happened with Zedd’s character, I figured out the one twist but I liked it anyway. I liked the some of the politics over all I felt it was too much, but I liked what the politics were about. I did like the history between the Harkens and the Anders. I did like the humorous scenarios with the third wife revealed.

What I Disliked: The chicken that is not really a chicken is just dumb and the jump the shark moment for this series. Focusing on characters that we’ve never been introduced to before, and giving them what felt like more time than the heroes of the series. Too many politics, some was good but too much dedicated to the towns politics. The new character scenes were too long a lot of plot points ended up not mattering where the characters ended up.

Recommendation: This is the first book that has disappointed me, it is the second lowest rated in the series on Goodreads so hopefully this is a fluke and not a trend. I recommend the series but this book is not good but it is important to the story so or that reason I will recommend it. I rated Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review:Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind

Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind is an epic high fantasy with dark desires and tough choices. Temple of the Winds is book 4 in the Sword of Truth series. This book was light on the action, but filled with so much high stakes drama instead. These last two books The Blood of the Fold and Temple of the Winds has some of the best writing your characters into corner writing. Goodkind perfected that kind of writing with this story; He will have a scenario that is life or death with two options both are bad one involves this bad thing happening this betrayal and the other option is even worse. Goodkind masterfully handles his characters suffering with a pin prick of light at the tunnel. This book flowed better than the others in the series it starts off a little slow then at page 200 the story bounces from characters we have met in the series and the threats they are facing. This book manages to bring most of the characters together at some point, most of these characters have been distant from each other since the first book. The finale works really well and establishes a new threat for the next book. I have a couple of family members hooked on this series so I will read one every couple months. This show came on my Radar because of the TV Show Legend of the Seeker, which does not do the series justice, even though I have a spot spot for the show. These books are filled with raunch, sex, and violence, and the show needs to capture that. I included the plots for all 4 books in the series, feel free to skip if you do not want a summary overview of the Sword of Truth series.

The Plot of Wizard’s First Rule: Richard Cypher is a wood guide that that has recently lost his father to a brutal murder with no suspects. His father and him had a code where one would leave an item in a jar my the door, the item is a rare vine that should not grow in his land. Richard is on a mission to find the vine and it takes him on the outskirts of the boundary of Westland. While investigating he finds a beautiful woman, Kahlan being chased by four big men. Richard knowing the trails can get to the woman first. He gets to the woman first and ends up defending her and defeating the men. they become fast friends as the woman in mystified by Richard and the way he treats her, it is revealed she is from the other side of the boundary, the Midlands, the boundary is protected by miles of border wall of the underworld, and not used to the kindness from men. Richard takes her to an old healer/ cloud reader friend, Zedd. Quickly Richard finds out that his old friend is not what he seems but a powerful wizard, one of the last of his kind. Kahlan is very important to the cause and Richard is special and anointed the Seeker of Truth, which comes with a powerful weapon the Sword of Truth that is a powerful magical item that focuses emotion into the blade. Richard finds out the true nature of the world that there is a Threat in Darken Rahl that involves tearing down the boundaries and ruling the world. It is up to Kahlan, Zedd and Richard to stop him.

The Plot of Stone of Tears: The Plot: Two days after Richard defeated Darken Rahl. A creature from the underworld has escaped and it wants to mark Richard so he can open the underworld for the Keeper. Zedd deals with these creatures first and must find Richard and seek side in closing the veil to the underworld. Richard and Kahlan are returning a boy back to the mud people when a creature from the underworld comes for them. They defeat the creature but Richard gets migraines that make it feel like his head will explode they keep getting worse and worse. He meets 3 Sisters of Light that day they can help him but they must collar him and own him to teach him to control his new magic. He refuses and the sister creates suicide right then and there, saying that was chance one you will have two more chances to get help of you do note, you will die.

The Plot for Blood of the Fold: A funeral is held at the Palace of the Prophets for the Prelate and the Prophet. They were burned by Sisters of the Dark who have infiltrated the Sisters of the Light. Sister Verna who is the a good Sister of the Light and a friend to Richard Rahl the Seeker of Truth, is set up to be the new Prelate she doesn’t know if this is for real or a trick of the Sisters of the Dark, the prophesies foretold that the false Prelate will destroy the Palace of the Prophets. She believes this to be free when she unravels a conspiracy that makes the prophesy come to pass. Richard having just came from seeing Kahlan and confirming she is alive when the world thinks she is dead. Richard waits at the Mother Confesser’s temple and fights the Mriswith a deadly snake like creatures that he saw and killed in the old world but has never seen one in this world. The Mriswith have now started to plague the land, they are being lead by something Richard must find out. Richard has started to embrace the Rahl part of his name he believes that the only way to unite the Midlands is be the supreme ruler, with all of Midland under his rule. He tries for peace by strong arming The Blood the Fold leader, the very same man who thinks he murdered Kahlan, but the Mriswith help him as their ruler wants him to live, and has a purpose for him. The ruler is known as the Dreamwalker and quickly takes over the Sister of the Dark and the Blood of the Fold, he wants Richard defeated and the Palace of the Prophets to be his especially the slow aging spell attached to it. Richard and Verna must fight the Dreamwalker on to different fronts.

The Plot for this book Temple of the Winds: Richard and Kahlan are finally reunited and talking wedding. They get three very special visitors One is a man claiming to be Richard’s brother an illegitimate son of Richard’s father Darken Rahl. The second visitor is Nadine a girl from Richard’s village who was sent by the witch woman Shota to marry Richard. The final visitor is an assassin who’s job it is to kill Richard. Through interrogation of the assassin they find that he was not alone, and with a sister of the dark that work for the Dreamwalker. The Sister has started a plague which starts a prophesy for Richard if he does nothing millions will die, if he wants to fight Kahlan will betray him . and Ricard will be no more. When the first victim of the plague dies his spirt takes over his body and talks about the winds This leads them to find out of a spiritual place called the Temple of the Winds that could hold the key to the cure and stop the plague. The price to enter the Temple of the Winds might be too high?

What I Liked: The high stakes writing, a couple times I was like how are these characters going to get out of this? The overall story keeps surprising me. The Kahlan and Richard romance is the heart of the story, you just want them to be together with so much getting in the way. The humor, when the book does a joke it usually works every time to give me a chuckle. The deaths had meaning, one death in particular really got to me. I liked the reveals of Shota and how that character has evolved. The conclusion of this story was so fulfilling and perfect. There wasn’t much action but when it was their it was intense. There was a couple of really great twist and turns.

What I Disliked: I wanted to see the moment where Nadine found out, I felt very cheated sense we get the aftermath but don’t see how it went down. I thought one character turned to the darkside too fast, it was explained after the fact but I would have wanted to see the gradual change. The beginning was a little slow, we stay with only Kahlan for the first 200 pages and it need to switch.

Recommendation: This book was especially good it had me twisting a turning with some character’s decisions.This book will make you invest in these character’s. This book was my second favorite in the series so far. I rated Temple of the Winds by Terry Goodkind 4 out of 5 stars. 

Book Review: Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind


Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind is Sword of the Truth book 3 of 15. Blood of the Fold is pretty epic there is two twist in the story that I was not expecting. The book has a nice opening then starts setting things up for the book to finish in a pretty epic 200 page climax that doesn’t stop. This book will not do any synopsis of the other two books, it will remind you of a few things with some characters but other’s it will leave it up to you to remember. On a couple of character’s I was like have I met them yet; then as I read okay they did this and this in the last one. I do like that both the bad guys were set up in the previous books you might not have known their name but knew they where a threat by people they commanded. This book introduced a couple of characters that became instant favorites Cara, Raina, and Berdine. Mriswith are a crazy new enemy or friend that are deadly and scary. The book is mainly about Richard and Verna adventures, Kahlan and Zedd are more secondary characters and don’t appear until half way, which was the book’s big flaw. The book does give some interesting characters to follow the Leader of the Blood of the Fold, Some Sister’s of the Dark and two surprise characters.The books flow could have been a little better in the middle but when you get to the 200 page finish it is almost forgotten.

The Plot of Wizard’s First Rule: Richard Cypher is a wood guide that that has recently lost his father to a brutal murder with no suspects. His father and him had a code where one would leave an item in a jar my the door, the item is a rare vine that should not grow in his land. Richard is on a mission to find the vine and it takes him on the outskirts of the boundary of Westland. While investigating he finds a beautiful woman, Kahlan being chased by four big men. Richard knowing the trails can get to the woman first. He gets to the woman first and ends up defending her and defeating the men. they become fast friends as the woman in mystified by Richard and the way he treats her, it is revealed she is from the other side of the boundary, the Midlands, the boundary is protected by miles of border wall of the underworld, and not used to the kindness from men. Richard takes her to an old healer/ cloud reader friend, Zedd. Quickly Richard finds out that his old friend is not what he seems but a powerful wizard, one of the last of his kind. Kahlan is very important to the cause and Richard is special and anointed the Seeker of Truth, which comes with a powerful weapon the Sword of Truth that is a powerful magical item that focuses emotion into the blade. Richard finds out the true nature of the world that there is a Threat in Darken Rahl that involves tearing down the boundaries and ruling the world. It is up to Kahlan, Zedd and Richard to stop him.

The Plot of Stone of Tears: The Plot: Two days after Richard defeated Darken Rahl. A creature from the underworld has escaped and it wants to mark Richard so he can open the underworld for the Keeper. Zedd deals with these creatures first and must find Richard and seek side in closing the veil to the underworld. Richard and Kahlan are returning a boy back to the mud people when a creature from the underworld comes for them. They defeat the creature but Richard gets migraines that make it feel like his head will explode they keep getting worse and worse. He meets 3 Sisters of Light that day they can help him but they must collar him and own him to teach him to control his new magic. He refuses and the sister creates suicide right then and there, saying that was chance one you will have two more chances to get help of you do note, you will die.

The Plot for this book Blood of the Fold: A funeral is held at the Palace of the Prophets for the Prelate and the Prophet. They were burned by Sisters of the Dark who have infiltrated the Sisters of the Light. Sister Verna who is the a good Sister of the Light and a friend to Richard Rahl the Seeker of Truth, is set up to be the new Prelate she doesn’t know if this is for real or a trick of the Sisters of the Dark, the prophesies foretold that the false Prelate will destroy the Palace of the Prophets. She believes this to be free when she unravels a conspiracy that makes the prophesy come to pass. Richard having just came from seeing Kahlan and confirming she is alive when the world thinks she is dead. Richard waits at the Mother Confesser’s temple and fights the Mriswith a deadly snake like creatures that he saw and killed in the old world but has never seen one in this world. The Mriswith have now started to plague the land, they are being lead by something Richard must find out. Richard has started to embrace the Rahl part of his name he believes that the only way to unite the Midlands is be the supreme ruler, with all of Midland under his rule. He tries for peace by strong arming The Blood the Fold leader, the very same man who thinks he murdered Kahlan, but the Mriswith help him as their ruler wants him to live, and has a purpose for him. The ruler is known as the Dreamwalker and quickly takes over the Sister of the Dark and the Blood of the Fold, he wants Richard defeated and the Palace of the Prophets to be his especially the slow aging spell attached to it. Richard and Verna must fight the Dreamwalker on to different fronts.

What I Liked: How Epic the finale was it was battle after battle, and some really good twists. One of the twist was really great and set up so well. It was kind of two twist inone but I loved the ultimate reveal. The Mord-Sith characters wee my favorite and my most excited about reading further adventures of them. This books has some great moments of humor that really land, it has a joke about breast that had me crying. The only character that has any real development is Richard and is great seeing him try to me a sympathetic dictator until he’s forced to be ruthless but for good, it was a crazy balance. I liked the final development with Gratch. This was my favorite end in the series so far.

What I Disliked: The flow in the middle got a little slow as things were over analyzed a little too much. I rolled my eyes everytime Gratch says he Loves Richard, i his Gratch -like voice. The novel repeats itself a little much but less than the sequels.

Recommendations: Blood of the Fold is a good book third book, it ends some storylines from the Stones of Tears, expands some storylines, and creates new storylines, and a possible new villain. I would recommend not taking as long as I did to read the second to the third, 10 months is too long and this book doesn’t do any favors for the reader just getting back in the story. I rated Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind 4 out of 5 books.

A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers

A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers is a beautifully written debut that takes a witch cursed to die young and love a man that will constantly disappoint her, time and time again. A Witch in Time tells a great love story about missteps and sacrifice. It hits the right beats in time and history as we observe four life times starting in 1890’s and ended up in present day. I loved aspects of the curse and how both the cursed and the watchers of the curse can manipulate certain aspects of it. The story bounces back in time in the form of dreams, which I thought worked really well as I was never confused about what time I was in and who’s life I was reading about. The story is good but is slightly similar to Victoria Schwab’s most recent The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, which deals with a curse and time, while this book I liked more and focused on past lives more than a singular life there are comparisons. The writing style which was simple but really connected me to the story and character’s, it reminded me a lot of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing style’s in Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I was selected for an advanced readers copy for Constance Sayer’s new novel The Ladies of the Secret Circus, which I’m really excited about after reading A Witch in Time.

The Plot: Helen is on her first date since her divorce almost a year ago, she’s meeting Luke on a blind date. When she meets Luke she swears he looks familiar to her. Luke says we’ve met before just not in this lifetime. This sends Helen in a spiral remembering through her dreams of France in the 1890’s and how she was cursed. She remembers Luke who looks just the way he does now protecting her after the curse had been placed. Luke is light on the details only saying she doesn’t have long, that it took him to long to find him and she must remember everything. Helen lives three lifetimes as she keeps getting connected to the same two people every time. Another thing Helen has noticed is she is getting powers and they get stronger with each lifetime. Helen is strong enough to finally break the curse but is she strong enough to do what it takes?

What I Liked: The lifetimes were described really well I wanted to stay longer in the Silver Age of 1930’s cinema. I liked the curse and the thought that went in to it, it was a fun mystery to unravel. I liked the love triangle, you could see every time why she picked the wrong love. Clint was scary I almost wish he was more connected to the story. I liked that we got to see her witch powers grow through out time. I’m a huge fan of the movie The Prestige and I liked that this story and that story used the real magician Angiers and twisted him. The narrative of flipping back and forth in time works really well, the story was complex but easy to follow.

What I Disliked: The novel repeats it’s self an awful lot, this is something I have found in a lot of debut novelist, who often don’t trust the reader to keep up, which I was able to do really easily, and didn’t need the reminder. The flow could have been better toward the end, the chapters got longer and slowed the momentum.

Recommendations: A Witch in Time is a fabulous debut of a talented writer in Constance Sayers. If you like witches and time travel then this is a perfect mix of the two. The novel is easy to read and hard to put down. I see great things from this author in the future. I rated A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers 4 out of 5 stars, this was almost a 5 star rating. I will read her new novel The Ladies of the Secret Circus pretty soon thanks to netgalley and Redhook books.

Book Review: Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind

Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind is an epic tale of stopping the beings from the Underworld from escaping and bring hell upon the world. This is book two in the Sword of Truth series. This book waste no time to get going, action starts on page five and goes on for a good while. The story takes places a mere two days after the last one ended, with a lot of the unresolved issues getting addressed early on. The action scenes are great and unrelenting. There is a war scene that was so smart and detailed it was easily in my top ten of battle scenes I have read, where I didn’t get lost in the action and every move made sense. The finale felt a little rushed, the rising action, of will the characters make it in time was great, but only to see the finale wrapped up in maybe 20 pages, which could be a lot of this book wasn’t 979 pages. Some of the events did remind me of the season of Supernatural where a similar plot happened, Stone of Tears was written way before Supernatural but it was interesting to see some of the same plot points in this epic fantasy that was in Supernatural. Looking at my data Wizard’s First Rule the first book in the Sword of Truth series is the review that I get the most views from search engines, so that was part of my motivation also with the sad passing of the author Terry Goodkind it was time to read this one and continue the series.

The Plot: Two days after Richard defeated Darken Rahl. A creature from the underworld has escaped and it wants to mark Richard so he can open the underworld for the Keeper. Zedd deals with these creatures first and must find Richard and seek side in closing the veil to the underworld. Richard and Kahlan are returning a boy back to the mud people when a creature from the underworld comes for them. They defeat the creature but Richard gets migraines that make it feel like his head will explode they keep getting worse and worse. He meets 3 Sisters of Light that day they can help him but they must collar him and own him to teach him to control his new magic. He refuses and the sister creates suicide right then and there, saying that was chance one you will have two more chances to get help of you do note, you will die.

What I Liked: The epic battle scenes that you knew where every character was and their motivation for the mission. The Richard relationship with Gratch a son of a former enemy that he befriends and kind of raises. I liked that Rachael was included she was the heart of the first book. She does not have a lot to do in this one but was happy to see her. The scenes of peril are what Goodkind does best at there was more than a couple times where I did not see how characters were going to get out of situations. I liked that everything Shota saw in her visions came true, but also says they could be changed as well. I loved the scene where Kahlan tried to fix the way mud people hit on women by bluntly complement women’s breast and backside. I liked the twist and turns of this story. The opening scene is so intense I loved it.

What I Disliked: The finale was so short, it felt rushed and it didn’t have to be. Zedd’s storyline was a little weak, he had a great beginning but not much else. Kahlan and Richard’s relationship was decent but went too sappy a bit too much.

Recommendation: If you like epic fantasy then this is the series for you. If you like intense brutal action packed battle scenes the Stone of Tear delivers. Trigger warning is scenes of rape, there’s a couple. I rated Stone of Tear by Terry Goodkind 4 out of 5 stars. I will read the next book in the Sword of Truth series Blood of the Gold pretty soon, it is 300 pages shorter so a little easier to work in.

Book Review: Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse


Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse is a groundbreaking new fantasy that is inspired by the history from Pre- Columbian Americas. The story is rapid paced, with so much conflict, it is hard telling who exactly is on what side of the good or bad coin, but the story was a fun read. The look at politics and religion is the best thing, do you believe in the prophesy? do you believe so much in the prophesy you will do anything to stop it? Will you set up your own candidate for murder but look like it is suicide to take over? will you make a suicide look like murder to stop a war? These are all questions asked in this deeply engrossing novel. The novel features the first pansexual character that I’ve read it is a very friendly LGTBQ story. There are four revolving narrative each with its own agenda and unique backstory. A really great climax, I wanted more story closure at the but it is clear that Black Sun is the first book in Between Earth and Sky trilogy so it ends on a cliffhanger. I have known about Rebecca Roanhorse for a while, I have seen great reviews for Trial of Lightning, and bought it on a kindle deal, after Black sun that book will be jumping up my TBR. I thanks to Netgalley and Gallery books for an advanced reader copy. Black Sun was published on October 13 2020.

Plot: Serapio is blinded and carved when he is a teenager during the Black Sun, in twenty years when the next Black Sun comes he will be a God. Serapio has started gaining the ability to see and talk with crows, and he can also release a deadly shadow. Xiala, is jailed former captain, and also a Teek, whose song can calm the waters and people around her. She gets the deal of a lifetime, a ship, bailed out of jail, and a mission taking the mysterious Serapio to Tove to become Crow God. We meet the Sun Priest Nara a good leader that has an assassination attempt foiled, but she won’t retaliate, to most people displeasure, that want war and the priest to rule by war. It is prophesied that for Serapio to become Crow God he must kill the Sun Priest. Okoa has recently lost his mother, he is lead to believe at the hands of the Sun Priest, after meeting her he is convinced she was not responsible, but he is inadvertently involved with the assassination plot on Nara. There’s a lot and this is just the start of this twisty novel.

What I Liked: The backstories on everyone are really well done and reveal so much. This novel has 3 scenes of action that are super intense. The character’s are great it took me a little while to get on Nara’s side but I liked the others pretty instantly. The powers of Serapio and Xiala are really cool and keep evolving. The world building was done really well, it reminded me a lot of Scythe by Neal Shusterman, where it starts small and expands so naturally, also it reminds me of Scythe of how politics and religion work together. The visuals the words paint were easy to picture. The ship mutiny scene was so great, and everything leading up to it. I think pansexuals will be happy with Xiala’s portrayal. Serapio is like a blind Bran from Game of Thrones that actually does cool things with his power.

What I Disliked: I do wish that the ending had the closure of the story and not leave it so open ended. The Xe and Xir was really confusing to figure out. sometime it was capitalized sometimes not (I did receive an uncorrected proof, so hopefully this is made a bit clearer in the final version).

Recommendations: Black Sun is a very good piece of writing that I can’t wait to read the next book. The world building is new and fresh. If you liked Scythe like I liked that story I think they are very similar in the way the stories are told, but very different stories. This is a good little fantasy that is fun with a great story, that has a lot more to tell. I rated Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind is a fantasy that goes from juvenile light fantasy to brutal high fantasy full of sex and torture. Wizard’s First Rule is book one in the 15 book Sword of Truth series. The first 200 pages are the corner stone of fantasy mediocrity, A hero orphaned finds out he is really the savior all along, he meets the woman of his dreams that’s the key to the danger and his prophecy. The old healer in the village is really a powerful wizard that has been watching over him. The first 200 read like a Star Wars plot set in a fantasy world. Thank goodness this book is over 800 pages because those pages are original and go in directions I couldn’t have predicted, and I couldn’t put it down. This was a reread for me, and I enjoyed this better the second time, the book is a great escape, this book is dialogue heavy, but the dialogue is very well thought out and 80 percent very interesting. The initial plot is weak but Goodkind does great world building and creating lore expanding upon it, this is the first book in a long series, and there’s a lot left to explore. The book ends not in a true cliffhanger but one that makes the reader draw to conclusions that this isn’t the end only the beginning and makes the reader want to read more. This was a reread for me and I have to say I enjoyed it better the second time, my rating still stand at 4 stars, but I appreciated the writing a lot more.

The Plot: Richard Cypher is a wood guide that that has recently lost his father to a brutal murder with no suspects. His father and him had a code where one would leave an item in a jar my the door, the item is a rare vine that should not grow in his land. Richard is on a mission to find the vine and it takes him on the outskirts of the boundary of Westland. While investigating he finds a beautiful woman, Kahlan being chased by four big men. Richard knowing the trails can get to the woman first. He gets to the woman first and ends up defending her and defeating the men. they become fast friends as the woman in mystified by Richard and the way he treats her, it is revealed she is from the other side of the boundary, the Midlands, the boundary is protected by miles of border wall of the underworld, and not used to the kindness from men. Richard takes her to an old healer/ cloud reader friend, Zedd. Quickly Richard finds out that his old friend is not what he seems but a powerful wizard, one of the last of his kind. Kahlan is very important to the cause and Richard is special and anointed the Seeker of Truth, which comes with a powerful weapon the Sword of Truth that is a powerful magical item that focuses emotion into the blade. Richard finds out the true nature of the world that there is a Threat in Darken Rahl that involves tearing down the boundaries and ruling the world. It is up to Kahlan, Zedd and Richard to stop him.

What I Liked: World building and lore, there’s so much too explore in this world. Rachel’s story line, if I told you the best part about this novel was a little orphan girl escaping a princess and carrying a special gift, my eyes misted as the doll Sara stopped talking. Adie’s characterization was really good and really was a turning point for me really liking this novel. Darken Rahl was a good unconventional villain, his manipulation is top notch, you understand why some loved him and other hate him. I liked that the Wizard’s First Rule, is that people are stupid. The dialogue is good and really well thought out, they have some good conversations about fate and right and wrong. The Richard and Kahlan love story is sappy, but the character’s are great that you root for them and don’t mind spending time with them. Zedd is my favorite a thin wizard that can always eat, is slightly horny, and is a truly great wizard. Zedd’s character has to say a lot of exposition but Goodkind makes the dialogue fun and insightful. The Mord Sith is one of the most terrifying villains that really set this book apart. The character is basically a mistress of S and M thrown into the fantasy story with magic and it works really well and makes a truly unique character.

What I Disliked: The love story is at times extremely annoying and sappy. The torture scenes went on far too long, should have been broken up by other scenes, the scenes are written really well but I needed a break when reading. The first 200 pages that take so long to set up the initial plot.  When writing fantasy you’re going to blend over to Lord of the Rings By J. R. Tolkien but the character of Samuel was to obvious of a Golem character, that is took me out of his scenes and was happy he was just in the book for a little while.

Recommendations: I understand why this novel is so divided in the reviews, the first 200 are interesting but it takes a while to get to the overall plot, I don’t know if I would’ve continued if not for the catching a couple episodes of The Legend of the Seeker and being intrigued upon my first reading. I promise it gets better, because I recommend it to my readers to check it out if you want a long epic fantasy. After reading and being disappointed by Goodkind’s The Nest which I rated two stars I was ready for disappointment but was surprised how much I got into the Wizard’s First Rule. I rated Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind 4 out of 5 stars I will read the next novel in the series pretty soon.