Monday, December 27, 2010

Update: A Perfect Circle

I'm currently reading A Perfect Circle, by Pascale Quiviger, and will post a review when I'm finished the book. The book is taking me a while to get through mostly because I'm savouring the prose its written in. There are some delicately poetic passages in the novel, and that makes reading a real treat.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Feast for Crows

So yes, I did finish reading A Feast for Crows, and, like the rest of the books in the Song of Fire and Ice series, I read this novel incredibly quickly. Yes, I'm wonderful.


Enough of my reading speed; let's talk about the book itself...

I liked this book and I really did enjoy it.. Martin continued to develop some characters, such as Sansa and Brienne, and this made the book more satisfying for me.  I was able to see how these characters had progressed throughout the series, and also able to see how the actions of others had affected them. I thought it was fantastic that Martin's writing enabled the reader to see another side of Cersei (and boy, what a bitch she is), and was unsurprised that my sympathy for Jaime Lannister has continued to grow. The character development, I guess, was what I most appreciated about this book. Martin has done an excellent job with these people of Westeros.

Moving along....

I found myself bemoaning, "WHAT THE HELL!? HE'S INTRODUCING ANOTHER CHARACTER? I HATE THESE NEW CHARACTERS!". It's the truth. I hated when the book would jump to the Dornish lands and would be about Dornish politics. I found these plot lines to be boring, distracting, and forced. This series is epic, but perhaps it shouldn't be so epic that new story lines and characters are added every three chapters or so.

Did this book make me excited for the fifth book (whenever it will be released)? Yes, it did. A Feast for Crows left me feeling satisfied, and still eager for more. Bravo, Martin!



A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
Bantam (2007), Paperback, 784 pages

Friday, December 17, 2010

Currently Reading...A Feast for Crows

As previously stated, I'm reading "A Feast for Crows". I'm already on page 347.

Go Team Stark!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Storm of Swords

As some background, I should say that I loved “A Game of Thrones” and literally tore through said book. I read the novel in a day, and I don’t think I ate, slept, or spoke during those 24 hours of reading. Needless to say, I was excited to read “A Clash of Kings”, but I found the book to be depressingly disappointing. I struggled to complete it, as I found the plot boringly diluted and the characters to be self-absorbed prigs. It reminded me of how television shows often set up for a really great episode by having a weaker episode featured the week prior, and “A Clash of Kings” certainly was the weaker. When the time came to read the third in the “Song of Fire and Ice” series, I was slightly apprehensive about reading “A Storm of Swords”, and worried that I might be losing interest in the series. Thankfully, my expectations were met and exceeded by this novel.

“A Storm of Swords” is a wonderfully action-packed book that is infused with lust, conflict, religion, and political intrigue. Martin’s characters continue to struggle with their morality and the choices that they have made in the past. Jaime Lannister, the kingslayer, is an example of this, as he begins to examine the role he played in murdering the  Targaryen king. Events in this book cause Jaime Lannister to shift his perspective, and thus become a fascinating character. Betrayal also runs strong throughout. Perhaps the most shocking act of betrayal involves Lord Frey and the tragic Stark family. I remember being shocked and horrified by how those events played out. Murder is everywhere, apparently, and none of Martin’s characters are sacred.

After having finished, “A Storm of Swords” last night, I eagerly began “A Feast for Crows”. Let’s hope the fourth is just as good as the third.


A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)
Bantam (2003), Mass Market Paperback, 1216 pages

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Storm of Swords

I'm not ready to officially review this epic novel yet, because I'm not done reading it; however, I will state that I'm really enjoying it thus far (much more so than A Clash of Kings). The writing is detailed yet entertaining, and I'm completely addicted to finishing this book.

Thanks Jamie, for this great birthday present!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shakespeare's Wife

With Shakespeare's Wife, Germaine Greer has written an exhaustive women’s history text on life in Stratford during the 16th and 17th centuries. Unfortunately for its readers, much information pertaining to the actual life of Shakespeare’s wife is purely speculative given the lack of historical documents that exist relating to Anne Hathaway. 

I would suggest one read this book if they are interested in social history. There is much information contained about medical practices, social norms, and religious politics of Elizabethan and Stuart England. There are also invaluable insights given into the lives of other residents of Stratford who have otherwise been forgotten in history. Greer does an excellent job of writing about this time period, and, most importantly, Greer cites all of her sources (this is a rarity amongst most biographical authors).

As previously stated, there is actually very little about Anne Hathaway in this book. We do learn brief tidbits about her childhood, her relatives, her marriage, and death. Most of Greer’s other information comes from analyses of primary sources not relating to Hathaway (such as tax records and marriage records), secondary sources (in which Greer vehemently defends Hathaway from her critics) and Shakespeare’s works (The Merry Wives of Windsor is one she uses predominantly throughout the text). As a reader, I intensely disliked when Greer attempted to approach the emotional life of Hathaway. It felt that this was is all speculation, and that such a practice is better kept for historical novels.

This book is one that I’m glad that I’ve read, but I don’t think I’ll read again any time soon. 


Information: Harper Perennial (2009), Paperback, 432 pages


Welcome to my blog, Northern Book Reviews!

In this blog, I plan on reviewing books that I've read up here in the frozen tundra of Northern Saskatchewan. What a surprise, right?

In terms of reading interests, please know that I just love to read. I'll most probably be reviewing both fiction and non-fiction books. I suspect that the novels reviewed here will be both adult literature and young adult (that's what happens when you're a high school English teacher), and that non-fiction will be primarily related to historical or political topics.

All of this could change, though.

Feel free to comment with your own opinions of all texts.I love sharing ideas, and if you know any good books that I should read, please mention too.

All reviews will also be posted on librarything.