Feed Me Books Now Survey

Feed Me Books Now | 21:00 | | 12 Comments so far

Well this was my attempt at making a creative post out of a… survey. Um, yep, it's another post in which you get to see my scrawled handwriting. The idea behind this survey is that it's not an automatic survey (e.g. Google Forms) but instead one you can respond to in the comments. This way, I can individually reply to the feedback. Also, I have a weird obsession with writing out things – I don't know, but handwriting things just seems so genuine and lovely!

You don't have to answer a fixed number of questions (answer just one or even all ten, if you feel like it) and just comment below with the number and a brief response (e.g. 9. No because Ruby is incredibly slow and lazy and doesn't write enough posts at all…).

I'm especially interested to hear the replies of people who don't regularly comment, so even if you have just one word to say, I want to hear it! Of course, you can also give feedback which isn't related to the questions, if you want.

The Final Empire

Feed Me Books Now | 17:42 | | 8 Comments so far
Let me start this review by saying that I will never be able to do The Final Empire justice. In fact, it’s a pointless endeavour to even try and comprehend my thoughts, let alone to write them down coherently. But I'm attempting to write this review for one simple reason: if you read one fantasy novel this year, it needs to be this one.

Author: Brandon Sanderson | Publisher: Gollancz | Pages: 647 | Source: Bought 

The mists rule the night... the Lord Ruler owns the world.

For a thousand years the ash fell. For a thousand years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years, the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Every attempted revolt has failed miserably.

Yet somehow hope survives. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the courage of an unlikely heroine, a Skaa street urchin, who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a mistborn.

My Thoughts: The Final Empire is everything I love about fantasy. In fact, it’s everything I love about reading. Within this novel, Sanderson has created a world that manifests in the reader’s mind, a crew of loveable underdogs who fight vehemently against the totalitarian leadership and a new type of magic that will leave you in awe. From the world building to the character development, from the plot to the prose, The Final Empire had me engrossed throughout.

The magic in The Final Empire was intriguing indeed; I half expected to fall asleep that night into a slumber laced with mist and swarms of blue. Sanderson has created a wholly unique and endlessly fascinating system of magic, one that the reader can't help but enjoy. Not to mention, the magic was incredibly well-explained and detailed, with different snippets and elements being slowly introduced throughout. Sanderson's system of Allomancy and concept of the mistborn was original, gripping and easily one of the best elements I've ever seen in a fantasy novel.

"Ah, but being an annoyance is something that I am very good at. In fact, I'm far more than just a 'mild' annoyance – people tell me I can be downright frustrating. Might as well use this talent for the cause of good, eh?"

As for the characters: Kelsier, oh, Kelsier, you're definitely a new favourite. Perhaps, I'm just easily impressed by any protagonist who's a criminal mastermind with a strong sense of humour… but, that said, there are still plenty of other reasons to adore Kelsier. First of all, he's the definition of an antihero – forever scheming and plotting, you never know his motives or where his loyalty lies (or at least, not to begin with). He's also a compassionate fellow, one who takes Vin under his wing and mentors her. The almost paternal relationship he had with her uncurled into something beautiful – definitely a highlight. And then there's just so much more I could say about him; the brilliance of his relationships with others, especially with his brother and the rest of the crew; his sheer determination, perhaps his most admirable trait; his backstory, definitely one that'll have you intrigued; and just how incredibly well-written he was towards the end… Sanderson obviously cares about Kelsier to have written him with such credibility and force at the climax of The Final Empire.

But as much as I adored Kelsier, the brilliance of the second protagonist is why this duo worked so effectively. I mean, can I steal Vin to be my best friend?! Amongst the abundance of teenage heroines in the fantasy genre, Vin is easily one of my favourites. She's just driven by this dose of sheer curiosity, she has the most heart-wrenchlingly painful background story and is so easy to root for. Not to mention the progression you see within her is empowering to say the least. The admiration with which she regards Kelsier is simply heartwarming and the friendship between the two was surprisingly beautiful.

But my character raving doesn't end there because the secondary characters were brilliant too. This crew of criminals – each with different powers – fascinated me to the point I wanted to shed a why-don't-they-exist tear. Breeze, Yeden and Ham had me chuckling throughout (“You should try not to talk so much, friend. You'll sound far less stupid that way) and I couldn't have admired their determination any more. Elend grew on me as the novel went on (“My behavior is nonetheless, deplorable. Unfortunately, I'm quite prone to such bouts of deplorability – take for instance, my fondness for reading books at the dinner table”) and Sazed was a constant source of knowledge. And then, of course there's the added bonus of the antagonist: the Lord Ruler may sound far from human, but Sanderson had this wonderful way of humanising him throughout. Of course the readers are still supposed to hate the Lord Ruler, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy the insight into the mind of a villain.

What else can I say? The rebellion was one I genuinely cared for and the switch between the alluring, high society balls and stowed away, secret meeting rooms was intriguing to say the least. The pacing was perfect for a reader like me – someone who loves to know about every element of a world – and the action scenes were so cleverly combined with Sanderson's system of magic. The romance was very subtly done and, although there wasn't much of it, it worked well. All in all, The Final Empire left me in complete awe. Like I said at the beginning of this review: if you read one fantasy novel this year, it needs to be this one. My Goodreads rating: ★

Favourite Quotes:    
“The right belief is like a good cloak, I think. If it fits you well, it keeps you warm and safe. The wrong fit however, can suffocate.” 
“Honestly, for an evil god of darkness, he certainly can be dull.” 
“That’s the funny thing about arriving somewhere, Vin,” he said with a wink. “Once you’re there, the only thing you can really do is leave again.” 

In One Word?
The Final Empire was as enthralling as could be. I can't remember the last time I read such a forceful and intriguing beginning to a trilogy; believe me when I say that this novel will well and truly enthral you.

Recommended to fans of… The Bone Season 
The Final Empire has the same effortless complexity as Samantha Shannon's The Bone Season. If you loved the systems of Scion and the different types of powers in The Bone Season then I guarantee you'll enjoy the elements of Allomancy in The Final Empire. Not to mention that Vin has the same stubbornness as Paige, with both heroines being prone to sarcasm. :)

How I Blog

Feed Me Books Now | 19:46 | | | | 29 Comments so far

1) Where I blog: I blog curled up on my bed, with my laptop in front of me, a couple of books next to me (purely random choices in the gif above) and a cup of tea at the ready.

2) My blogging notebook: This is the notebook I tend to plan a lot of my posts in… as you can probably see, I'm not the most focussed person and I doodle a lot; let's just say I'm a professional doodler… I also stick little sketches I've done into it, simply because I lose them otherwise. Oh and I blurred out the words a bit so you can't see what they say… a few of them are future posts and I don't want to ruin the surprise. :)

3) The TBR Pile: The TBR pile consists of books that are 'to be read'… and I like to think that I have mine – somewhat – under control. I normally have two or three books on the go and each time I finish one, I pick up a new one from my TBR pile and review the old one. It's quite a simple system, really.

So that's how I blog in three gifs. Please tell me if you enjoyed this format as I'm thinking of doing something similar in the future.