Kalarum: The Stone Tablet (The Kalarum Trilogy Book 1) by Dee Willis

mylittlebookblog (1)

Is it me or is the fantasy genre becoming ever more popular? I might have to filter how many I read because there are just too many for me to get my tiny hands on. I don’t know what it is about the fantasy genre that irks me so much but it just doesn’t appeal in the same way as a thriller or a historical fiction does. I find myself reviewing almost from the point of view that I enjoy this genre because the writing is sublime or the characters are really well described it’s just the genre? Is that odd? Maybe I’ve got book brain at the moment. Despite that ramble today I have, yes you guessed it, another fantasy style book and it’s a good’un all fantastical writing and all that. Without further delay: THE REVIEW.

25426376

The Land of Kalarum is in the mist of the Dark Hour – a time that was prophesied centuries ago – and to defeat it, the stone tablets must be reunited as one. After the attack on Tinsgates, Belcrest barely escapes with his life. Severely wounded he makes his way to Hollow Woods. It is there he meets Nasira – High Captain of the Vycar Legion. Unknowingly, the evil creatures that attacked Tinsgates had stolen one of the tablets. Unable to reunite them all, the Elven Chieftain tasked them with gathering the remaining stones. Since the tablets were dispersed to various races within the land – which they had no clue existed – they had to rely upon legend to guide their journey and quickly the 19 year old Nasira learns that the land she had known is full of mystery and shocking truths. Legend and myth become reality and there is no turning back from the road she must now travel.

So the basics: we follow the journey of the elven warrior Nasira and the human Belcrest (that’s going on my list of names for future children,) as they fight to bring the tablets and the two nations together. One tablet is lost and it is feared that evil forces have taken it under their possession; our heroes must fight to keep the remaining three from also being unaccounted for. I thought this book was a really fantastical story; it’s got all the basics, dwarves, elves, humans, creatures, prophecies, magic, and destiny: you know the drill right? Each is written with understanding and dexterity the elven are particularly graceful, delightful beings with their pointed ears and their extensive knowledge of war. I however liked the dwarves a little more; hot tempered and heady creatures their language and their mannerisms kept me captivated as a reader.  Belcrest is sweet and loyal, as he learns from Narisa and their friendship blossoms in a really wonderfully honest and trusting way. Being the sole survivor of his village we see him have to quickly take up this new role which is so important for the survival of the worlds and I thought it was written with skill and understanding.

Untitled design (5)

In terms of writing style it is stunning, utterly utterly stunning and I think that’s the main reason I keep delving back into this genre.

For example, ‘as dusk approached, on the other side of Kalarum, the two moons were beginning to take their place in the sky. The splash of color melted across the land from the rising of the moons and the setting of the sun. The tiny granular rocks below reflected a dark orange color and many of the finer granules sparkled like crystals from the soft touch of the moons light.’

That description really helps to transport you to this new, exciting, fantasy world and I guess that in my love of historical fiction transports you to a different era fantasy takes you to a new world? Definitely got book brain at the moment I would say. Anyway I liked the message that was woven throughout the action, the fantasy characters and the beautiful descriptions; the message that despite differences in race, and ability Narisa with her weaponry skills and Belcrest with his awareness of goodness and honour make a strong and dependable team. I think my only comment would be there’s not quite enough to make it feel wholly original.

I’ve gone on a long time again so I’ll make this a little snappier: it seems that Dee Willis has really written a truly fantastical novel with some really strong writing flavour. The emotions that are created, the landscapes that are described and the ultimate battle of good versus evil is a true fantasy tale. Definitely one for the fantasy genre lovers.

Linkkkkks

Amazon

Goodreads

Poisoned Apple by Katherine McIntyre

mylittlebookblog (1)

Hellllllo readers, another day another review and one I’m really excited to be sharing with you. I often get authors who request a review and then later I get another request for a review of another book and it’s really special to be asked a second time. It also helps the reader/blogger to get more of an insight into the writing style and complex of the author. Today’s is another short tale perfect for a couple of lunchbreaks or a longer journey on le train and I enjoyed this more than the first book Katherine sent me (Stolen Petals – which you can read my review of HERE.) For now, onto this review which I hope all you lovelies enjoy.

Snow White’s a goth and Prince Charming’s a jerk.

On Neve’s eighteenth birthday, her stepmother kicks her out. A group of diner rats offer her refuge—including Brendan, who offers his couch for her to crash on. But the more time she spends with him, the more he confuses her. One second, he’s kissing her. The next he’s pushing her away.

Believing her life has reached rock bottom, Neve struggles to ditch her “damaged girl” label. But when she uncovers the truth about her life, she’s rocked to her very foundation. Will Neve be able to hold on to the good things coming her way, or will her bad luck poison everything?
Neve lives at home with her stepmother after her father left them for another man. On Neve’s eighteenth birthday, her stepmother throws her out. Neve has no where to go. She’s a loner. She blames herself for the lose of her parents.

I didn’t realise that this was a Snow White inspired story because I didn’t read the blurb (slaps wrist) but I’m kind of glad I didn’t know because now I can see all the links and I want to read it again where I can pick alllll of them out. As the blurb says the book follows Neve on her eighteenth birthday who is kicked (almost literally) out of the place she has always called home by her evil stepmother – (see Link) Wandering the lonely streets she finds at 24/hr diner where she befriends a group of guys (see Link) and they decide to keep her company. Brendan who is dealing with all sorts of other problems of his own offers her a bed for the night and we kind of go from there, learning more about her family and the ins and outs of her “relationship” with Brendan.

In terms of the length this is rather a short novella and that’s why it would be perfect for a train journey because you can just whizz through its lovely little pages. I thought the character profiles were brilliant; Neve is my go-to character. She is smart, intelligent and she wants to stand on her own two feet and she’s not afraid to say that. She’s gutsy, honest and sarcastic and I thought she was brilliant. Brendan is struggling with the break-up of his relationship and I thought his need to stay away from Neve and yet not quite able to was well written. The additional character were well built up including Veronica the evil stepmother and the guys at the diner.

Untitled design (1)

I found the characters easy to empathise with and feel for; although at times frustrating it is nice to read a book from an author who puts her characters really on the line. The pace moves along well and although short does manage to get quite a few tiny sub-plots in. Due to the length I couldn’t have really expected more but I think the length works so no problems there. I thought the humour woven in was clever and witty between all of the character helping you to get involved in the story as a whole.

In terms of wobbles I think there could have been better character development in terms of both the main characters but the book isn’t really long enough for that. I also thought some of Neve’s decisions were just odd especially the ending; it works with the Snow White theme but it felt a bit off? It didn’t fit with the character profiling we have been given throughout.

Overall this is a short snappy book with a really interesting plotline. The characters feel fresh and the fairy-tale aspect really adds to the story although it works without it too. It’s a brilliant little book and for just under £2 it really is worth a read. Thumbs up.

Liiiiiinkkks

Amazon

Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

toptentuesday2

Good M’rnin readers and happy Tuesday. I love Tuesdays because myself and the only other lady who works for the company (c’mon engineering catch up,) squirrel away to Morrisons and buy all sorts of things that are terrible for me trying to lose weight, (diet smiet I say.) Todays Top Tuesday’s post is to list ten top ten characters that are fellow book nerds and I’m worried that my list will be the same as everyone else’s so I’ve tried valiantly (and failed) to add more obscure characters. *wails*

Tengo from 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

This book is taking me months to finish but Kenko is die-hard reading/writer and I find his gentle disposition and his attitude to reading and books so easy to relate to.

Meggie from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

I struggled with this book as a younger reader but I’m so glad I finished it. She is a delightful young reader and a character I really felt I could relate to.

Hazel and Gus from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I can’t decide whether this will appear on all the lists of very few? We’ll see. Both adore books although they are polar opposites in terms of what they like to read. This quote is also utterly beautiful from the book and so, so true.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Charlie from the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Cbosky

perks of being a wallflower

Another book I can’t decide whether will spring up on lots of lists, but Charlie loves to read and is encouraged by his teacher to write more and use the books to think and reflect upon his own life.

Mel from Bad Dreams by Anne Fine

Another slightly more obscure book although I am sure many have read this brilliant book. The premise of the book follows Mel who is an book-worm *cheers* and prefers to have her nose stuck in a book than make friends with her classmates. However she is made unwillingly to look after the new girl in school, Imogen, but all is not what it seems to be. Imogen is strange and mysterious and Mel is adamant to find out her secret.

Klaus Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

a_series_of_unfortunate_events_the_slippery_slope_frontcover_large_dhfMZCQcmzKOgUI

I loved this series of books and Klaus being an avid reader with an eidetic memory he had to make the list. Remembering virtually everything he reads he often helped his sisters escape from situations that their archenemy, Count Olaf, lead them to. A real bookish hero.

Liesel from The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

I wasn’t going to include this one but it’s one that had to make the list. Also if you haven’t read this book, you need to. The number of book bloggers I know that have this as one of their *unofficial* favourite books is astonishing.

Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FANGIRL_CoverDec2012-725x1075

This is where I fail and just pick characters that just bookish through and through. Cath adores books and revels more in the fictional world than the real world. She’s a little darling.

Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl

maticover2

Another very obvious choice but some of these you just can’t keep off the list because, you just can’t.

Finally, Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling

Another pretty clear choice, but I loved Hermione. She is a gem.

They you go wonderful readers, ten bookish characters who love to read.