Tag Archives: published: 2009-08

Ghost Star Night by Nicole Kimberling

Ghost Star Night

Ghost Star Night by Nicole Kimberling

Series: Sea of Stars, Book 1
Published by: Samhain Publishing on August 4, 2009
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Thomas Myrdin doesn’t have the life he knows he should have. While he’s allowed to live at court, he’s banned from using magic. And it’s through no fault of his own. But when he starts dreaming visions of the destruction of the world, he feels he must act. Even though the harbinger in his dreams is the newborn princess. But he will do what he must.

Lord Adam Wexley just can’t shake Thomas. There’s something about him that draws Adam in, even if Thomas doesn’t appear to feel the same. But Adam is loyal and knows his duty is to protect the princess. At the request of his mistress, Adam sets out to enlist Grand Magician Drake to assist. And he knows that won’t be an easy task.

Grand Magician Zachary Drake wants nothing to do with the court. He’s refused to ally or align himself with anyone. He lives outside of their system, doing his best to live outside of their traditions. But when Adam shows up at his door, he agrees to help. Even if it just might be his downfall.

This is a rich and unique world. The almost post-apocalyptic feel intertwined with fantasy and magic makes for an interesting combination. And the history and customs reveal themselves to the reader over the course of the story. It all flows well; nothing seems forced or out of place.

And these guys do not talk to each other about how they feel. Drake likes Adam. Adam likes Thomas. Thomas likes…well, you’ll have to read to find that one out. But they won’t say it or act on it. I wouldn’t call it slow burn exactly, but everyone takes the long way to their destination here.

It’s a fun an interesting read. And I give this a good recommendation to anyone interested in any of this book’s sub-genres.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

7125342Title: The Magicians (The Magicians, Book 1)
Author: Lev Grossman
Published: August 11, 2009
Pages: 402
Publisher: Viking Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:

After arriving for a college interview to find his interviewer dead, Quentin Coldwater is about to find that’s one of the least surprising things that will happen to him that day. He is invited to and admitted to a selective and secret magical college. That’s right: magical. The training isn’t easy, and it tests them in some rather trying ways. After graduation, Quentin and his friends stumble into a world none of them thought really existed, and in the process learn things they might have preferred never to know.

I was honestly conflicted with this book. I like the setting and the concept–it’s just the type of book I like to read in that regard. But I had a really difficult time with the characters, especially Quentin. I mentioned above that the training was trying and one might think that would lead to some semblance of self-awareness. Yet, Quentin lacks it. Honestly, he’s probably the most unlikeable protagonist I’ve encountered while reading that comes to mind. And it doesn’t come across to me that he’s intended to be so unlikeable, which had me scratching my head and frowning often while reading (especially later in the book).

That said, the book is enjoyable and entertaining. And when you look past just how incredibly flawed Quentin is with few redeeming factors, there is an epic fantasy tale being told.