Review: The Word for World is Forest [Hainish Cycle #5] 5/5 (1)
All , Fantasy , Sci-Fi / June 16, 2019

Review: I don’t know if it is just me but when I am reading a series I grow to like them more and more with every next book. I’m not sure if the author is getting better or the stories, if I am just more familiar with the style and the story but it has been true for almost every series I read (where I managed to go past the second book).

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula Le Guin, the fifth book in the series, is living proof of that. And the funny part is that the books in the Hainish cycle are not even following the same storyline. In the best case scenario we have a brief mention of planets or species we know from before but other than that every book starts with new characters, new planet and new social, racial or alien issue.

Review: The Left Hand of Darkness [Hainish Cycle #4] 5/5 (1)
All , Fantasy , Sci-Fi / June 15, 2019

Review: I think the Hainish Cycle is growing on me. After I got rid of the initial expectations of what a Sci-Fi from the ’70s should be like I actually started enjoying myself. And The Left Hand of Darkness was the peak of the series.

The longest so far, I found The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin to be a fantastic tale of a man that is thrown amid different cultures and struggles to understand them and to be understood. I love the fact that both the people of Karhide and Orgoreyn are so different in their biology and way of thinking and most of all I loved the fact that Le Guin threw unfamiliar words and concepts our way and didn’t stop to overexplain them. This allowed us to understand Genli Ai, the main character, much better; to walk in his shoes, so to speak, since we were confused and learning just as he was.

Review: The Other Wind [Earthsea cycle #6] 3/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / June 2, 2019

Review: I don’t know why but all book or series endings leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe I hate endings, or maybe I don’t like how the author decided to end their story — either way, I am never happy to read the last page.

The Other Wind, the sixth book of the Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin, and so far the last one confirmed, was not what I expected as a conclusion of the story. It started promising with a bit of mystery and new, diverse characters (something that has been missing for me in the previous books) and then when they all got together their personalities more or less disappeared and it was hard to tell them apart. I don’t say that juggling a big cast of characters is easy, oh no, but I’ve read many books where it is done marvelously. And here, well, it was OK.

Review: Tales of Earthsea [Earthsea Cycle #5] 3/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 28, 2019

Review: Tales From Earthsea is a collection of short stories from the world of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin that take place before, during and after the events in the original storyline. It consists of five short stories – The Finder, Darkrose and Diamond, The bones of the Earth, On the High March and Dragonfly.

Personally, I am not a big fan of short stories. I simply do not believe they are able to convey a full, meaningful plot and allow for natural character development. But when I like series I always get excited when I get extra bits to go with the story – that being a scene from another person’s POV, a satisfying spin-off of a particular storyline that had been neglected or forgotten in the main story or simple fairy-tales/ar

Review: Tehanu [Earthsea Cycle #4] 4/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 27, 2019

Review: It’s amazing how fast I am going through books these days. I’m not sure if it is this specific series that make it so easy or I am just in my element 😀

Tehanu, the fourth book of the Earthsea cycle by Ursula Le Guin, is the last book of the original series. As such I expected it all to tie neatly together with a bow on top. I do love stories which give us more answers than questions at the end. And in a way, Tehanu did feel like an ending — but also as a beginning. I’ll explain in a minute.

Review: The Farthest Shore [Earthsea Cycle, #3] 3/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 26, 2019

Review: As you can see, I am still going strong with the Ursula Le Guin‘s wave and I even think I’ll be able to finish all her works (that I have) in no time. I did notice, however, that the more I read the more I realize that just good prose is not enough. When I started with the first two books, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, I thought that their plot would be connected in some way. It turns out that the only connection so far is the wizard Ged who features in each of them. In the third book, The Farthest Shore, the story follows the steps of Ged years after the events in book 2

Review: The Tombs of Atuan [Earthsea Cycle #2] 4/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 24, 2019

Review: As I expected, I dipped my toes in the pool of fantasy and now there is no power on earth to get me out of the water 😀 I’ve missed the intricate world-building and the wizards and powerful darkness lurking in the shadows.

The Tombs of Atuan is the second book of Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin and my favorite so far. It has the same melodic prose that was present in the first one, it has the taste of magic and secrets and it has new characters and a fresh story.

Review: A Wizard of Earthsea [Earthsea Cycle #1] 4/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 22, 2019

Review: Ah, true old-school fantasy feels like home <3 I used to avoid reading in the fantasy genre out of fear that it would influence my writing and ideas but as many, much better writers have said, writers must read. So I think this book marks my return to what inspired me to read and write. A Wizard of Earthsea is the first book of the series by Ursula K. Le Guin, one of the very first big fantasy writers (and a woman at that). I got the books from my mom who first bought and read them shortly after giving birth to me (or was that The Wheel of Time? Can’t remember). So when we talk about the series calling it old-time fantasy is really accurate.

Review: Their Eyes Were Watching God 4/5 (1)
All , Classics , Historical Fiction / May 6, 2019

Review: Every time I pick up a classic I am feeling insecure. Not because of how amazing and worthy it may be, or because I feel like my life will change or something, but because I rarely fall in love with classics as other people claim to do. Indeed for a book to become a classic it must have touched on a major subject, has an outstanding writing style or idea but rarely those things ring the bells of heaven in all of us.

When I started Their Eyes Were Watching God, and after reading the short summary, I did my best to keep an open mind and enjoy the story. What made it more difficult than usual was the fact that I know little of American history and I had a horrible time understanding the dialogue due to the stylistic approach Zora Neale Hurston had taken.

Review: Sword of Destiny [The Witcher #0.2] 3/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / February 27, 2019

Review: I have finally finished Sword of Destiny, the second collection of short stories accompanying The Witcher series, and I am left with very mixed feelings. By now I realized that Andrzej Sapkowski‘s style is a bit too philosophical, too pompous at times and I have come to terms with that. Maybe it is just the translation, as I am reading it in English, but there are times when the characters talk and talk about things as if for the sake of talking, as if the author wants to show he is verse in all themes. It’s rare to find a story where you love the style, love the characters and you love the story. In most cases you get just one of those.