Book Review: The Banished Craft by E.D.E. Bell

The book that….had great ideas but didn’t deliver on them.

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Synopsis: The Banished Craft is a genre-bending fantasy saga that follows the adventures of Cor, a woman caught in a dying world that does not accept her, and Atesh, a dragon scientist who’s been asked to violate his own ethics or put the lives of his family at risk. Follow their trials as they deal with a shattered world, mired in political upheaval, while they try to rediscover a lost magic. The Banished Craft begins the Shkode trilogy: a quirky and modern take on dragons and wizards, exploring themes of identity, prejudice, violence, compassion, and the ways we are all connected.

This book had a slow start as it had a lot to set up, however, as slow as it was, after I finished the first chapter, I was eager to find out what was going on. However, a viewpoint switch took me to a completely new world that held no excitement for me. And then we went back to the other world but with a new character focus that I didn’t care about either.

As I said before, this book had two different settings. One with humans, and another with dragons. Think Brian Jacques’ Redwall series but with Dragons. Cor is a human woman who completely enchanted me from the very beginning. She is about 30 and unmarried with no children. I loved reading her perspective because of that. She was a woman sneaking into this amazing library and trying to borrow a book that will tell her about her past. So good. The dragon viewpoint had a much more political and military focus that just paled into comparison with the coziness of Cor’s perspective.

The worldbuilding in this book was almost there because the prologue set up the premise of these two split worlds well and then we jump into those worlds. However, once we were in each world, there was no worldbuilding for pages and pages and then there would be a dump of information. I ended up having a vague and unsatisfactory understanding of what these two worlds were like and how they functioned.

Overall this book was a bit all over the place. 1/3 of the way through I found myself floundering in half-explained worlds and deep backstories of characters I didn’t particularly care about. Had this book focused its lens more on Cor and her story and one portion of the dragon world, I would have loved it. Unfortunately, it did not hold my interest and I had to dnf it.

I still think if it sounds interesting to you, you may want to give it a try. You never know if it might resonate with you more than it did with me.

I got this as a ebook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Happy reading!

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Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages and It’s All a Game 2 Mini Book Reviews

The book that….is full of girl power.

This short story collection was one I had been looking forward to and I was so pleased when I got a free copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

These are all small glimpses into the lives of girls with a sprinkling of sci-fi or fantasy tossed into them. I loved how atmospheric they were and how they weren’t meant to tell a full life’s story. Instead, we get dropped into their lives and just as quickly get tossed back out and get to imagine how the story ends. Honestly, I really could’t find fault with this collection. Ellen Klages writes stories that I find myself wishing I had come up with. She has a wild imagination and was able to pull me along with her.

Overall, I loved the way that they would draw me in and at the end leave me thinking about them long after I had moved on to another book. My favorite story was Singing on a Star. I loved the Alice in Wonderland feel of it and the creepy vibe that left me with goosebumps at the end.

It’s All a Game by Tristan Donovan

The book that…taught me all about my favorite games.

This book was a very enjoyable non-fiction read for me. I love reading about nerdy things and board games is something that I have been getting more and more into this year. The writing was a bit dry at times and sometime filled with fact after fact but I did enjoy reading about some of my favorite games. I particularly loved the section on chess and how it was adopted across cultures and changed to what we know now.

This book is probably not one you would sit down and read all at once. It was one that I loved dipping in and out of throughout the month and it could be read just skipping around to chapters you were most interested in. The one downfall that I saw was that the chapters were long. I think that having shorter chapters and really cutting the stories down a bit would have helped with the paving of the novel. Unless I was a big fan of the game, I didn’t care as much for the depth of detail the author went into.

I think that this is a great book to give a game lover in your life or someone who just loves learning about little glimpses of history in fun and palatable chapters.

Both of these books were given to me through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Happy Reading!