Category: Books

Morrigan’s Cross

Morrigan’s Cross is the first in The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts, and like all good beginnings, we’re introduced to the major characters.  This set of books happens to have six, but the first and foremost is a gentleman named Hoyt.  He is the central figure of the book, and is referred to as a “serious man” in earnest and in jokes.   That’s a pretty accurate description of him.   Hoyt is a sorcerer from 12th century Ireland, who gets pulled forward in time to battle Lilith, the vampire queen.   This makes his character feel out of place for most of the book, some of which is to be expected, but I’m hoping that in the second book he will have become more comfortable in his own skin.

Morrigan's Cross book coverHoyt is tasked with finding the other members that will make up the circle for the fight to come.  We meet each of these characters, as they’re introduced throughout the book.  Each of these six main characters has a part to play in the coming story.  During this book they’re all trying to learn what that role is and how to interact with each other.  As this progresses into the second book I expect we’ll see that they play larger parts than just the role initially assigned to them.

A lot happens in this first book; time travel, death, a wedding, fights, and with so many characters involved there’s the worry that the story will become overly complicated and lose the reader.  That didn’t happen here.  Even for all the action and interaction of the characters, it was easy to keep up with which made for an enjoyable read.

This is the first novel by Nora Roberts I’ve read, and I have to admit that I was originally a little biased towards her and  thought I might not enjoy her work.  In my mind Nora Roberts was pegged squarely in the romance category, and not in a good way.  I can’t really explain where that notion came from, but I’m glad that I have the chance to revisit my opinion.

A friend of mine gave this trilogy to me as a Christmas present, and proved my initial conception wrong.  It was definitely a good choice to spark my interest, as it falls into my favorite genres of books – fantasy and the supernatural.   I was eager to know what would happen to the characters, and how the story would unfold.  Yes, there’s still some romance in here, but the characters and the plot drive this book, not just the romantic interactions.   I became invested in the book, and now I can’t wait to read the next two in the trilogy.   I have another Nora Roberts trilogy that was given to me as well, and it’s now gotten a higher spot in my to read list.

Next up is The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi for the book club I’m in.  After that I’ll be back to read the second book in The Circle Trilogy.


The Stars My Destination

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Book Club – February 6, 2011


A little late for me to be writing a review, and I can’t guarantee I’ll remember everything either, but since this is just a general response that should be okay.  This year I decided to join in a book club some of my friends were having, not only to read more varied books, but also to meet people and gain some new friends.  The Stars My Destination was the first book I read to participate in the book club.

I found the story intriguing, and was quite curious throughout my reading to find out what would happen next, and what the setting would be. A large part of what kept me involved in the story were the descriptions of the places and the way in which the story was told.  In general I’m not a big science fiction fan, I often find strictly science fiction books hard to keep up with because I don’t have the right mindset to understand the science involved (whether or not it’s real science), so I often lose the story in the more technical aspects.  Bester told the story with a great descriptive quality, which allowed me to enjoy it without getting lost in the science.

This was key for me, because I didn’t really like many of the characters.  The main character, Gully Foyle, I didn’t care much about one way or the other.  The female characters I thought were interesting, but possibly only because  I could relate to them a bit more, being a female myself.  My favorite character in the book, you could technically say was not a character at all.  Fourmyle of Ceres was fun and extremely over the top, bringing in a fantastical element that I really enjoyed.  Although I didn’t care much about most of the characters, they were still well written and able to present the story that was being told.

Overall this was an interesting book, and one that I’m glad to have read.   I would happily recommend it to anyone who enjoys science fiction, and maybe even those who aren’t so sure about it.


Shalador’s Lady

Shalador’s Lady: A Black Jewels Novel

Anne Bishop

This book arrived while I was reading two other books. I had started one, and then decided to switch.  Then the latest Anne Bishop showed up and I switched again.  I began reading the evening of the 18th, I think it had actually arrived the day before.  I finished it the evening of the 19th, and only because I had to work on Friday morning did I not stay up and read it Thursday night.

I enjoy the world that Bishop has built, and it sucks me in every time.  It was great to see new and old characters together, and I felt they were well balanced too.  Some of the story lines with the older characters weren’t necessarily needed, but overall the two groups of characters seem to meld well together.  I enjoyed having some of my favorites show up, like Karla, while still keeping up with Cassidy and her new court.  I felt sorry for Theran, but the ending gives me hope.  Cassidy and Gray are amazing, and I loved Gray’s growth and transformation.  It was good that he grew slowly over the two books, and it wasn’t an instantaneous change.

I went through the spectrum of emotions as I read; laughing, crying, anger, sympathy.  The Black Jewels books in general are pretty good at pulling out my emotions and it’s something I enjoy.  I treat it as the mark of a really good book if I’m emotionally invested enough in the characters to cry when something sad happens, and laugh at a moment of humor.

Now, since I have so many books I want to read, I need to resist the urge to pull out the original trilogy and go back to the beginning of Jaenelle’s story.  I think the Black Jewels can sit on the shelf a little longer as I enjoy some other stories that have been wanting my attention.

I hope that Bishop will write more of the Black Jewels Realms.  Some people may believe that she’s milking her money cow, and perhaps to a degree she is.  But if the stories are good and enjoyable, what’s wrong with that.  Bishop created a world that works, and she knows it.  So it doesn’t bother me a bit if that’s her impetus for writing more stories in the Realms of the Blood.  I’ll happily buy and read them as they come out.


Ice Song


Ice Song by Kirsten Imani Kasai is the most recent book I’ve finished reading.  I was drawn in by the cover at my local Barnes and Noble, and intrigued by the description on the back of the book.  I put it back on the shelft and sent myself a text so that I might remember to add it to my book wishlist for later.  Dan bought the book he had found and we headed back out to the car, where he then pulled a book out of his bag and handed it to me.  Somehow he had managed to buy me Ice Song, right under my nose with me not being any the wiser.  I loved it!  And I got to read a new book that looked really interesting.  And it was.

Ice Song follows the story of a woman named Sorykah (such a pretty name) and her travails to recover her kidnapped children.  She is unique though, because she is a Trader, someone who can switch genders.  This presents it’s own advantages and disadvantages as she travels in search of the man known as the Collector who has taken her twin babies.  Throughout her journey Sorykah and her alter-ego Soryk, meet all manner of people/creatures who have been affected by something simply known as The Change.  Mixed in with the overall plot there are twines of friendship, romance, lust, passion, jealousy, faith, and simple survival.

The world created is vivid and the characters bring the book to life.  Sometimes I feel it’s hard to find a book or a story that feels new to me, and this one stood out.  The myraid of characters were things my imagination found new and wondrous.  Their stories were all different, and usually touched with sadness.  I felt for all of them, only in different ways. Some characters I did not like at all, some I grew to understand more as their story unfolded and my opinions of them changed.  Some of the characters themselves grew and tried to be better than what they were before.  I find characters who can change, or characters who cause my opinon of them to change to be the most engaging.

Fans of fantasy should definitely check this out.  It’s not the kind of story I am typically drawn to, but it was a good read, and a very enjoyable story.  I was caught up in the life of Soryk/Sorykah, as well as the other characters involved in their epic quest to rescue the babies.


Tailchaser’s Song

Tailchaser’s Song

Tad Williams


Tailchaser’s Song is a book that was recommended to me by my boyfriend, Dan.  I hadn’t heard of it before, and he remembered it fondly so I decided to give it a try.  I snagged a copy from and after finishing other books already on my reading list, I decided to pick it up.

Tailchaser's SongThe first thing that struck me about the book was the odd writing style.  The names of the cats and the places took some getting used to, but once I was able to not concentrate so much on the distinctive writing I was able to get sucked into the story.

The story centers around a cat named Fritti Tailchaser (who is referred to by both names throughout the book, something that was mildly confusing for me at first) and his quest to rescue Hushpad, the fela (female cat) that he likes.  While on the journey to find where Hushpad has gone, Tailchaser ends up confronting all manner of fun, crazy, and dangerous adventures with a young kitten sidekick named Quickpounce.  I was drawn into the story and enjoyed finding out what would happen to the cats next.

There were several other supporting characters, and all added their own flavor to the tale.  The descriptions of the characters were well done, although I sometimes did have a hard time picturing them in my head.  Tailchaser seems to be a normal housecat, while some of the other cats are described as being very large comparitively.  For those cats I had more trouble because I was unsure of just what kind of cat they might be.  Not a big problem though, and it certainly didn’t draw me away from the story for long.

Tailchaser’s Song was definitely a fun read.  I was reading the book while on a train ride, and it definitely helped me to pass the time.  It’s a fun fantasy romp, and I highly recommend it if you think it sounds like you’re kind of thing.  I believe I may check out some other books by Tad Williams, just to see how they compare.  This one feels like it has a distinct style to it, so I’m curious.

If you do happen to pick it up, share your thoughts!