My Books of 2013 – Part 1: Fantasy

Like I did for 2012, I once again made a list of all the books I read in 2013. I did not read as much as I did in 2012. There are several reasons for this. I did not have a regular train commute. I love reading on the train and my 2-hour commute between Leuven and Kortrijk was ideal for getting a lot of reading done in 2012. I also did not have a nightlight in Paramaribo. This seems like a small thing but it made a big difference. I like to read before going to sleep. This was near impossible without a nightlight because it gets really dark really quickly (and quite early) in Paramaribo.

I ended up reading 32 books total. I have divided them up in categories that I will post over the next couple of days. I changed my rating system this year. Instead of giving books a star review I will use the length of time it took me to read the book. I finish a normal, 300-page book in about 2 weeks. If I finished it faster it usually means I really enjoyed it. If it took longer it means the book didn’t really grab my attention. There are a couple of exceptions which I will explain when I come to those books.

There is one book that I started this year and didn’t finish, The Dark Portal, Book 1 of The Deptford Mice Trilogy. I just could not identify with the characters or get involved in the story.

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Son of the Shadows (The Sevenwaters Trilogy #2) – Juliet Marillier

Son of the ShadowsSecond of the Sevenwaters trilogy of novels about the last days of heroic Ireland, Son of the Shadows takes up the story of the children of Sorcha, who saved her enchanted brothers, and Hugh, the Briton she married. Sorcha’s daughter Liadan is a gifted seer and healer who thinks, in spite of her visions, that she knows what the future has in store for her–caring for her dying mother and then an alliance marriage to Eamonn. A chance meeting on the road carries her off to care for a dying man–one of the mercenaries of the sinister Painted Man, Eamonn’s archenemy and a killer for hire. Liadan discovers that she cannot choose whom she loves and that she and the Painted Man are as bound up in destiny as her mother and father were before her.

I really enjoy this series. The stories remind me of old English or Irish legends (and with good reason, as they are based on old legends). I will definitely read the next book in the series soon (it’s already on my Kindle).

Jan. 01 – Jan. 14

Dragon Wing (Death Gate Cycle #1) – Margaret Weis

2946045Preeminent storytellers Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have redefined epic fantasy. Since the publication of their Dragonlance series, millions of readers have enjoyed their imaginative world-building, rich characterization, and intricate storylines. Now these best-selling authors bring their talents to one of the most innovative fantasy creations ever in Dragon Wing, the first volume in The Death Gate Cycle.

This was… enjoyable. I used to love reading fantasy books. Now I find the names to be overly complicated and a little annoying. They take me out of the story because each time I read them I wonder how they are supposed to be pronounced. I did like the story enough to read the next book in the series (see below).

June 04 – June 21

Elven Star (Death Gate Cycle #2) – Margaret Weis

28485On steamy Pryan, never-ending sunlight and plentiful rain have created a jungle so vast that humans and elves dwell high in the trees and only dwarves live anywhere near the ground. From the treetops the aristocratic elves sell weapons to the other races, whose incessant warfare sends a steady steam of profits and essential resources skyward. Now, generations of dissent and race hatred will not heal — not even under the threat of annihilation at the hands of legendary Titans. Armed with little more than their wits and prophecy, an elf, a human, and a dwarf must unite to try to save the world from destruction.

I enjoyed this book less than the first one. It all seemed a bit cliché. I don’t know if I’ll read the rest of the series.

Sep. 09 – Sep. 21

Part 2 – Young Adult Fantasy