Here you leave today a
nd enter the world
Of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.
“Once upon a time, in the final days before Salt and Marsh Witch War, four Boneless Mercies turned their backs on the death trade, and went west, seeking immortality.”
The Mercy trade is a life of death, and it is a trade only for woman. This book follows four Mercies who travel town to town performing mercy killings, never revenge or vengeance. It's a hard and sad life, one that makes them outcasts from everyone they come across, they have themselves and no one else. But one day they decide to change their path, to seek a life that could change it all. A chance at a warriors glory like something from the old Vorse tales.
This book is very atmospheric and the author does a wonderful job at building this world and painting the forest they travel through. The story follows the single POV of Frey, which is a shame as I would have liked to read from the other girls as they're all so different and come to the trade for different reasons. Frey's blood sings for glory and wants more than the sad work of Mercy killing.
As they travel closer to their destiny you see such a change in her fellow Mercies, which is why it would have been nice to have different POVs, the people they meet and they stories they share and tell has an impact on them. They are a family and they decide their fates together.
Truly I loved how this was written, every moment felt right and written with depth and care, but it was defiantly lacking something. There didn't feel like a sense of urgency, or any real wow moments, when I think back to any fights they did have on the road or going into the Marsh to face the Cut Queen it wasn't quite punchy enough. But on the flip side I loved the entire section with the Cut Queen, it felt weird and creepy and unpredictable but it lacked that something, that drama.
There's a lot to love about this book and there's a lot that needs some va va voom, there is a standalone companion book set in the same world I will be giving a read.
“I wanted to change my fate, to force it down another road. I wanted to stand in the river of time and make it flow a different direction, if just for a little while.”
Whilst this doesn't add much in the way of story Renee Ahdieh writes like a dream and it was nice having a chapter from Okami now we truly know who he is. It isn't necessary to read this as it's so short and takes place straight after the first book. I was hoping we'd find out more on his backstory, but unfortunately not to be.
“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”
This is my second dive into the world of Terry Pratchett, and unfortuantly I didn't enjoy this book as much as Mort. I found it hard to find my rhythm with this one, it all felt too random and I couldn't figure out the plot, plus I couldn't get attached to any of the characters a part from Death. Even though this is part of the Death Collection I feel like it took a while before he was properly in it.
I really like Prachett's way of writing, the humour and how just plain bonkers it all is, however I found the structrure of this book to be differnent from Mort and more confusing. Due to the events of the previous books and Death not really acting quite himself it's been decided he's to be replaced...times up. And instead of working till the sand runs out of his hourglass Death decides to use his remaining time.
Enter Windle Poons, a wizard about to die, but that's fine, wizards understand this sort of thing. When his big moment arrives Windle finds no one waiting to escort him off, so he climbs back into his body. From this point we follow him trying to figure out what to do, as he did die and is still dead, whilst his fellow colleagues and wizards trying all manner of supernatural ways to re-kill Windle and whilst Death begins working on a farm.
It didn't feel like this book had any drive or knew where it was going, but maybe that was my own confusion; the mysterious snow globes didn't help either. Or perhaps it was because I couldn't really connect with any of the characters. But regardless, this won't put me off, by the end Death is easily an absolute favourite of mine.
“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”
“So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky.”
Reading this for the first time as an adult this book is wonderful, the lead character Lyra may be a child but the writing is not dumbed down for children. And I love when authors do this, you get enjoyment as a child and when you come back to it years later it doesn't feel like you're reading a childrens book.
Considering this has been around for so long, I actually had zero knowledge what it was about. The story follows parentless Lyra and her daemon who has grown up in an Oxford College, when she's not being tutored she's and playing and fighting in the streets with the local children. Each human has a daemon, which is essentially you're soul and once you become an adult it settles into one form of animal that becomes a representation of of you.
Lyra craves something more than the stuffy male professors she's been brought up around, and one day, the glamourous and mysterious Mrs Coulter appears offering her all she's dreamed off. Lyra jumps at the chance. However, children are disappearing. Tales of the Gobblers have travelled up and down the country. Soon Lyra finds herself embarking on a huge adventure to save the kidnapped children, and as she travels further North she discovers there is far more too the disappearances.
This book was completely unpredictable, this story was so unexpected and anytime I thought I knew where the story was going it went in the other direction. This book is a fantasy classic, and I wish I has read this when I was younger, a daemon companion, traveling to the North with the gyptians and befriending an armoured polar bear. I would also recommend listening to this as an audiobook, the narrator and author Philp Pullman has a wonderful deep voice, and towards the end he and the cast pull off a wonderful job at building the urgency and tensions between the characters.
“What I mean is, all the terrible things that happen in fairy tales seem real. Or not real, but genuine. Life is unfair, and the bad guys keep winning and good people die. But I like how that's not always the end of it...Evil is real, but so is good. They always say fairy tales are simplistic, black and white, but I don't think so. I think they're complicated. That's what I love about them.”
The Grimm Legacy is about a young girl, Elizabeth, who works in a Repository. A Repository is like a library for items, some of these items are normal and some of these items are magical. Like the items in the Grimm section, these items were collected by the famous brothers and inspired their stories. When Elizabeth proves she's trustworthy enough to work for them she slowly starts to discover the wonders that the Repository holds. However items are going missing and there's a giant bird stalking the workers. Elizabeth must figure out who she can trust and who is dangerous.
This has been on my TBR for a long time, depending on where you look it says YA lit and other places says childrens. Either way I picked this up with not much in the way of expectations, I wanted something easy and simple and that it's exactly what I got. One thing I did like is that Shulman has based this series on authors, she could have easily wrote a seires with each book focusing on magical objects connected to famous fairy tales to attract children. The second books is based H.G Wells and the third, Edgar Allen Poe, not authors you associate with children or childrens lit and I'm intrigued to read the next one as each of these are standalones but set in the same Repository.
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