After Lady Trent, a dragon researcher hears of an odd discovery made by some explorers in the mountains she goes on an expedition with some close friends and a couple other people to investigate. What she discovers there will change the way people view dragons forever. She herself will change as she finds herself in the Sanctuary of Wings.
This book, written by Marie Brennan was only published in April of this year and I am surprised that I was able to get it from the library immediately. This is the fifth and last book of The Memoirs of Lady Trent which are written from the perspective of Lady Isabella Trent. I accidently read this book before reading the first four books but I still found it incredible. I probably wouldn’t have even picked it up if it weren’t for the beautiful dragons on the cover.
Within the Sanctuary of Wings combines two of my interests, archaeology and dragons. There is also a little bit of anthropology, linguistics, and biology mixed in. The way these fields were incorporated into the story was amazing. Even though I ended up reading the last book in the series first I could understand everything. After I finished reading it my mind was filled with philosophical thoughts.
The characters are interesting but I feel like all the characters minus Lady Trent were developed more in the earlier books, which isn’t a problem but rather me reading the last book first. The reactions the characters had to what was going on was both realistic and accurate to their personalities. The dragons are also very interesting. Marie Brennan, the author has created scientific reasons for the way dragons are. The world the characters and the dragons live in is well built and also realistic.
I enjoyed reading Within the Sanctuary of Wings though it was slow at first until the main discovery was made. By reading the last book in the series first I now want to read the first four books because I want to know more about Lady Trent’s adventures. Also any books that feature both dragons and archaeology are immediately put on my to read list. I recommend that you read this book if you have an interest in both science and fantasy.
Final Rating: 48.9/50
A puppy is introduced to the human world after living a feral life with his mother, brother, and sister. He believes he has seen everything until the day he dies in this life and is reincarnated into a new life as a puppy. Throughout his journey through many lives he will learn many skills and what exactly his purpose as a dog is.
First off this book covers multiple animal rights issues and multiple dogs end up dying. This is a book about dogs after all, bad things will happen and it will leave you in tears. While a couple of these issues appear shoe horned in they compliment the message about the purpose of a dog. What purpose does a dog have if they are abused or abandoned for instance.
The perspective of this book is excellent. The entire narrative is told from the viewpoint of a dog. This is impossible to forget because the narrator thinks in the way I imagine a dog thinking. The fact that the dog doesn’t understand everything about the humans does not take away from the stories of the humans. I was able to easily piece together what was going on with the people in this book by looking at dialogue and the dog’s descriptions of their activities.
The one thing I actually dislike about this novel is the fact that there are moments at the beginning and end of each of this dog’s lives where he outright explains the purposes that he served in all his past lives. I am a fan of making the reader think and considering that this novel is based around animal rights I feel it would have helped the reader understand more if they were left the find out the dog’s purpose on their own. The title is enough to make the reader wonder. Does this make this a bad book? No, I just feel it could have been done better.
Now I haven’t watched the movie, but I have only heard good things so far other than the whole controversy that suddenly appeared just before its release. If you want to only watch the movie that’s fine, however if you do that you will miss out on a great novel that you can quickly read through. I only spent about two hours every night reading it for four days straight. If you have time I highly recommend that you read it. It’s about dogs, what more could you wish for?
Final Rating – 42/50
I decided that it may be best to plan which book reviews I will be writing each month so that I know which books I need to read (I can read books relatively quickly if I have the time). Because of this I will write a post like this one briefly going over each of the books I’ll review for the first Monday of each month and then I’ll write each review in the following Mondays until the month ends. This post is so that you can possibly read the novels I will be reviewing alongside me and so that I will be more motivated to write these review posts.
This month there are 4 Mondays other than this one and I will be writing 4 book reviews. I will be reviewing the following books:
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
May 8, 2017
This is a novel about a dog as he journeys through life, gets reincarnated a few times, and tries to figure out his purpose. A few months ago a movie came out based on this book and since then I wanted to either read the book or watch the movie. It’s about dogs so there is no doubt that this will be a sad book, however books about dogs can also be happy, cute, heartwarming, and funny. This will be an interesting first book to review.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
May 15, 2017
The Buried Giant was published two years ago in 2015 and at the time a lot of people were talking about it in the fantasy world mostly because it was the first book Kazuo Ishiguro published in a decade. I saw it on the featured table at Chapters and I wanted to buy it but I didn’t. This was mainly because it was hardcover and not on sale. Just this past Christmas I found this book on sale for 10 dollars and I bought it. The novel is written with a third-person omniscient narrator and follows two characters whom the narrator calls Axl and Beatrice. These two characters are an elderly Briton couple who are going on a journey to find a son whom they had not seen in years. The Buried Giant is set immediately after Arthurian Britain after the Romans had long since left the British Isles.
Fates by Lanie Bross
May 22, 2017
This is a young adult fantasy novel about a fate named Corinthe who was exiled from her home in Pyralis Terra after making a mistake. In order to end her exile she must do one job, to make sure that everyone’s fates go according to plan. Now she has her final assignment before she can finally return home, kill a highschool boy named Lucas Kaller. But she starts to doubt that she should actually kill him because she is starting to feel something that she should not be feeling. If every fate has already been decided, where does fate fit in?
The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
May 29, 2017
This is the oldest novel that I am reviewing this month having been published in 1984. It was written by one of my favourite Canadian authors, Guy Gavriel Kay. He has become known as a writer of historical fantasy through writing such novels as Under Heaven and The Last Light of the Sun. The Summer Tree is the beginning of his Fionavar Tapestry trilogy which I have yet to read. It is also the first book he ever published. The trilogy follows 5 students as they accompany a mage named Loren Silvercloak and a dwarf named Matt Soren to the land of Fionavar where they will be presented to High King Ailell of Brennin.
I have decided that in December I will try out a consistent schedule so that I will have at least two posts per day and the types of posts I will write will vary a lot between days so that I don’t have three days of only anime posts and one random non anime post afterwards. I would like to write about a variety of topics. I am already making a list. I have some topics already. I would like to know if anyone who reads my blog has a topic that they would like to see me write about. This could be based off of anything. Anime, western movies and television, novels and short stories, writing, real life, or anything else that you can think of. I would also appreciate anime and western movies and television shows to review. If you have a topic you would like to see me write about please comment below. I look forward to seeing what people come up with.
I started reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman and though I am not even half way through it I can see why so many people like it. I like seeing mythical gods of different cultures adapted into different forms of storytelling. Most of the big ones that I’ve seen other than in the Tiger’s Curse series have been based largely in North America. This forces the writer to explain why the gods are there in the first place because North America is not the homeland of most of the cultures of the world. In Percy Jackson it is revealed that they are in North America because there is an entrance to Olympus in Manhattan. It doesn’t quite explain why the Greek and Roman gods are there, they just are.
This is something that I feel American Gods is doing well. In this book the gods came with people coming to settle in the USA. This makes sense to me. Also in this book gods are being created based off of various products and infrastructure that are found all over the place such as wood, stone, roads, and television. These gods are replacing the gods that were brought over from Europe, Africa, and Asia, This makes sense as well because most of the gods featured in this book are from largely dead religions.
In a book about gods a lot of things can be done. Characters can be resurrected, there can be scenes that just confuse the hell out of you, and any rules that have been established in fiction can be ignored because there are a whole bunch of different gods. In this book the main characters dead wife comes back to life to help him, a character pulls a silver dollar out of the moon, and a leprechaun dies because he gave up a special coin and doesn’t truly die until the next day. These rules are being broken in the best ways and I love it.
At the time when I am writing this I am only halfway through the novel. I hope it gets even better at it goes on. I may even review it after I am done reading it.
I have been reading a lot more lately. Yesterday I finished the third book in the Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobbs. Now I am making my way through American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I am hoping to get to a few other books in the next couple of weeks.
I want to write book reviews but I don’t know if I would have enough time to do that. I think that I would have to read the book twice to know it well enough to review. I could do a few books this way, but not that many. I could still do this but only maybe one review per month.
I could try to do them like I do my anime reviews where I review an entire series of books at once. But then I would have to read all the books in the series twice and that would be way too much work.
I will start reviewing books in August. They may be more frequent than a month since some of the books that I have read are so short that I could easily read them in a day. Also it doesn’t take me that long to write a review. If I start reviewing more forms of fiction than I hope that I can get much better at it. Also I can get ideas of how to improve my own work.
This is a thing that I am going to start doing. I will review stories in whatever medium they are presented as I finish them. I will only be reviewing the story because each medium has different aspects that I could in theory review separately. (Also I am not very good at reviewing things based on camera shots or animation) Today I will be reviewing the anime Charlotte which I have finished watching.
There are light spoilers ahead so be warned.
Continue reading “Story Review: Charlotte (Anime)”