Book Review

Book Review: Cold-Forged Flame

Cold-Forged Flame
By Marie Brennan

My Edition:
(Signed!) Paperback, 100 pages
2016, Tor
ISBN: 9780765391391

“The sound of the horn pierces the apeiron, shattering the stillness of that realm. It is a summons, a command. There is will. There is need. And so, in reply, there is a woman.”

I’m sticking with part of the blurb on the back of this book because anything I try to summarize either won’t do the story justice or will give too much away.

I was lucky enough to win a signed copy from Marie Brennan’s blog giveaway and I was thrilled. I love her Lady Trent series but have yet to branch into any of her other work. While the Trent memoirs are fantasy, I feel they’re more of the historical fiction genre (even if Brennan is making up her own history), whereas Cold-Forged Flame gave me a taste of Brennan’s true fantasy writing.

Cheesy as it is, I’m so hungry for more! Seriously, this little book fuckin’ rocks. We’re introduced to a character who is mysterious, deadly and badass, with a razor-sharp tongue and just enough heart to make her feel real. She doesn’t know her own origins, only that she’s bound to a task set to her by those who summoned her. Throughout the novella, readers learn little tidbits about her and the world she inhabits at the same moment she learns them. I really don’t want to say more because the fun is in not knowing what’s going to happen next and the less you know going in, the more impactful the big reveal at the end will be. :]

Brennan wrote an article for Tor regarding this character and how she is based on a character that Brennan used to roleplay as and how she adapted those elements for her novella.

I was only about thirty pages in when I turned to my husband and told him that I already felt the book was too short and that I knew I was going to be desperate for more when it ended. That’s my only complaint – it’s too short. I know it’s a novella, but it flew by and I need to know more about this character and her world right now!  The next book, Lightning in the Blood is coming out next April, but that’s not soon enough for me. I’m sad I have to wait, but (clearly) very excited for more.

You can visit Marie’s website, Swan Tower, and connect with her on Twitter. You can also read an interview about CFF that she did on My Life My Books My Escape.

And of course, a few extra pictures. The book is even more special now that it’s signed:

Then…when I was bored…I decided to mess around with a couple Snapchat filters:

Book Review

Book Review: The Voyage of the Basilisk

Voyage of the Basilisk
By Marie Brennan

My Edition:
Paperback, 348 pages
2015, Tor
ISBN: 9780765375094

Lady Trent has released another volume of her enthralling memoirs, dedicated to her voracious appetite for dragon-related knowledge. This time, readers set sail with Trent, her partner Tom, and her son Jake as they set off on a two-year trip around the world to study any type of dragon they can find. However, fans of Isabella know her penchant for finding trouble, and this voyage is not without setbacks.

It’s a form of self-torture that I make myself wait for the paperback editions of these books before buying and reading them (but my series must match!) because I love these books so much and the wait is hard. As always, I enjoy Lady Trent’s voice and her strong personality.

This book has a bit of a slow start, as it details how Trent and her crew get started on their nautical adventure, but it picks up the pace once she supposedly commits a blunder in a foreign country and she and her comrades are expelled from the island. From there, Isabella has some of her most fantastical adventures and discoveries yet.

Semi-shipwrecked on a foreign island and reluctantly receiving help from the natives, Isabella can’t help but think that something is being hidden from them. She also notices how strangely the islanders are acting towards her personally and soon discovers they feel she has a dragon’s soul and that her strange ways (ie: wearing pants, having short hair and being unmarried) are because of this. To appease the locals and keep her, her son and her friends safe, Isabella must agree to an unconventional marriage. Amidst all this, she manages to ride sea serpents and make an amazing discovery regarding local dragon lore.

These books are a lot of fun and I also enjoy the process by which Isabella tries to differentiate how certain types of dragons could have evolved into others, or whether or not a certain species could even be considered a dragon. I’m also finally getting used to the names of the countries and types of people that inhabit them, so they feel much less foreign to me, compared to when I was reading her first two volumes.

As with the previous book, you don’t necessarily need to read the first two books to enjoy Basilisk, however, I strongly recommend doing so.

I, of course, also have to dote on the blue ink used for this edition! As always, the illustrations by Todd Lockwood are fabulous but too few! These too, are done in blue. Love it. Little touches like this always heighten my reading experience.

Now to endure the torture of waiting for the fourth book in paperback so I can enjoy that as well!

You can visit Marie’s website or find her on Twitter.

Book Review

Book Review: The Tropic of Serpents


The Tropic of Serpents
By Marie Brennan

My Edition:
Paperback, 331 pages
2014, Tor
ISBN: 9780765375087

From the back of the book: Three years after her journey through the mountains of Vystrana, Isabella embarks on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics. Accompanied by an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, and palace intrigues in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell…where her resourcefulness and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before. 

Continue reading “Book Review: The Tropic of Serpents”