I’m super excited to present today’s book review, which is brought to you in association with LoveReading UK, the largest book recommendations website in the U.K. Make sure you check them out at; www.lovereading.co.uk
Also a BIG thank you to the publishers, Simon&Schuster for sending this book to me!
Synopsis:Lady Midnight is an epic fantasy novel that follows the story of Emma and Julian who are highly trained, demon-slaying Shadowhunters. As parabatai, they also share a magical bond, which amplifies their angelic powers in battle. But to be parabatai means to be bound to one another for life, forbidden from falling in love with one another.
When a series of mysterious murders occur across L.A. Emma and Julian, together with Julian’s family investigate these strange events that all linked and rooted in dark magic. Even if it means risking their lives, they are determined to solve this mystery as it leads them to the answers behind their tragic past.
Lady Midnight is the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy which was published in 2016. If you’ve read Clare’s previous Shadowhunter books, most notably The Mortal Instruments Series, which was also adapted for film, you’ll love reading this book. Clare creates an immersive, supernatural world that is a boon of escapism.
Interlude In Kosovo is the second novel written by former doctor turned author, Robert Hedley. It was published in 2018 by Michael Terence Publishing.
Synopsis: ” Dr. Claire Peters flees her unfaithful husband, James, to work for The World Health Organisation in post-war Kosovo. Her husband follows, hoping for reconciliation. Both take lovers, she a French Captain in KFOR (Kosovo Force), part of UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo) he a beautiful Kosovar, wife of a senior member of the KLA (Kosova Liberation Army), catapulting both into a mix of Kosovo politics and criminality…” (an overview by goodreads).
Firstly, I would like to thank the author for gifting this book to me in exchange for my review!
I was immediately drawn to the title of this book as one who has essentially grown up in an environment where I was surrounded by Kosovans and Albanians, particularly during my school years, when there was a sharp increase in the number of migrant Kosovans to London in the aftermath of the war. Many of my schoolmates were Kosovan yet I knew little to nothing about the political unrest in their country and had the vaguest knowledge of a war that ravaged their land so when Robert asked me to review this book, I was very much eager to do so.
The writing in this novel is flawless; it sets the scene perfectly and the plot progresses at a comfortable speed that eases the reader into the story before the pacing suddenly picks up towards the end.
The story is loosely based on Hedley’s own experiences, also working for the World Health Organization in Kosovo during the post-war period, therefore there is a strong medical presence in this novel, however this didn’t detract from the book’s other core themes of political uncertainty, destitution, criminality and infidelity.
I particularly enjoyed the arc surrounding one of the ethnic Albanian characters, where the story conveyed an air of mystery and villainy, the development of which I found to be extremely multi-layered and made me sympathize with their character.
However, I was mostly underwhelmed by the development of the main characters; Claire and James, particularly the latter, not because of his lack of his restraint, or the fact that women seem to want to take their clothes off when there’re around him, but because of the bad decisions he constantly makes throughout the novel which made it difficult for me to empathize with his character.
I also wasn’t keen on the ending which felt a bit too sudden and rushed. The pacing of the novel picked up towards the end which I loved as it built suspense but it also meant that some of the mystery was handled with only cursory detail and therefore left underdeveloped. I was overall satisfied with how it ended but not so much on its execution.
Interlude In Kosovo was nonetheless an extremely enjoyable and insightful read that I would easily recommend. I would definitely read this book again purely for the enjoyment value and not as a critic as I love the story-telling and the light it sheds on the history and culture of Kosovo as well as the cataclysmic effects of oppression at the hands of a Serbian dictator.
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Today I posted my book review of Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare to my Booktube channel. See below to watch it!
Lady Midnight is the first book in The Dark Artifices trilogy and was published in 2016 in the U.K. by Simon&Schuster. This book was gifted to me by LoveReading UK and Simon&Schuster as part of the LoveReading Ambassador Book Buzz. I’ll be posting my official review of this book very soon but for now I hope you enjoy the video!
Thanks for watching! Have you read The Dark Artifices series? What are your thoughts? Please share with me in the comments. For more book reviews, click here.
Synopsis: The scene is being set for the gathering of the Conclave of Mages, where sorcerers throughout the four kingdoms will gather on the Isle of Thanedd to discuss political affairs and the threat of war from the land of Nilfgaard. Meanwhile a rebellion is brewing that will divide the Council concerning the fate of Ciri, an exiled princess, Witcher-in-training and prophetic child of the Elder blood.
The premise of this story inspires excitement with lots of promising build-up that ultimately fails to deliver. I believe the first part of the story was a lot stronger than the second part as it seemed to have a lot more coherence as opposed to the events that took place after the Conclave of Mages where the execution of the plot became very erratic, with different story arcs cropping up haphazardly…To read the full review please click here!
Cornwall maintains the action filled momentum of The Last Kingdom in this sequel novel, with a lively and animated plot that was consistent throughout the book. I enjoyed the rawness of the story-telling which complemented the book’s historical setting, during an age of battles, war and rebellion. It almost added an extra layer of harsh realism to the abundant portrayals of sex and violence.
The characterisation was also a strong feature of this novel, especially in the case of Uhtred’s ongoing internal conflict, which makes him fight alongside his Saxon countrymen, but also yearn the life of a Danish warrior. He thus brings upon himself the disdain of all those around him who scorn his pagan leanings. The people of Wessex are fiercely loyal to their Christian faith, yet as an affront to his people, Uhtred openly wears Thor’s hammer around his neck, dresses like a Dane and is overly familiar with the sorceress Iseult, despite being married to Mildrith…
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt – – – To read the full review, please click here!
I’ve noticed that there has been tons of discussion about this topic in the book community so I thought I’d share with you why I personally like to used a star-based system in my book reviews. Please share your thoughts and let me know do you use ratings in your reviews? Don’t forget to subscribe to my Booktube channel before you leave, it would help me out loads! ❤