Updated: Aug 8, 2020
March 2020. This will be a memorable year for all, and this month in particular for large pockets of the world. With the whole country making a big switch to social distancing, there was a lot more time for reading than even a typical March as a teacher.
Below I share some of the books I read this month (or finished from previous months) and reviews on them. As always, check out Goodreads to find more details and reviews for each book!
Ship of Magic - Robyn Hobb
I'm a big fan of Robin Hobb - she is supremely talented in world building; I feel like the Six Duchies is another familiar place to me now, just like Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. Some of Hobb's books can take a while before the plot picks up, but part of this is how she builds up the background of each character instead of diving right in. It's always worth pushing through!
For lovers of the Farseer Trilogy (the first of Hobb's series that you should read), this story takes place within the Six Duchies, in Bingtown and other seaside communities where the ships trade with. Whereas in the Farseer Trilogy, Hobb writes from first person, this story is written in third person limited and follows a few different characters in their individual journeys. The main plot involves Althea, who was meant to inherit a liveship when her father passed, but instead it went to her brother-in-law and the consequences of this decision untangle throughout the book.
In this story, we learn more about the customs, beliefs, and traditions of Bingtown, as well as experience life at sea along trade routes, the colourful seaside towns, the life of a pirate, a close-up look at slavery, and the ever-present hungry serpents. The details and twists in the plot are sure to keep you on your toes the whole way! I don't want to say much more and spoil it - if you enjoy fantasy and great world-building, this book is a great one for you!
Cinder - Marissa Meyer
This was my first read by Marissa Meyer, and I really enjoyed her writing. This book is YA Sci-Fi and I dowloaded the Kindle Book hoping it would be a quick and easy read after Ship of Magic, and it totally was!
Living in future times, Cinder is a lower-class teenager and a cyborg (part human, part machine), who is just trying to make a bit of a living and avoid the plague. When the prince asks for her help, everything in her life starts to change drastically, and the Earth is at risk to going to war with the colony on the moon. Gradually this story unravels as a totally original retelling of a futuristic and out-of-this-world Cinderella. It had me intrigued from the beginning and I found myself consistently thinking just one more chapter!
I was very pleasantly surprised at the way Meyer kept me captivated the whole way through!
The Last Wish - Andrzej Sapkowski
I was intrigued with the Blood of Elves series and learned that this was one you must read first, along with a second prequel, before reading Blood of Elves. The first two prequels involve short stories that give background information on the character. I wasn't too excited that I had to read two books before starting the series, but I was hopeful nonetheless - I figured it would be worth it!
The first few chapters were pretty captivating - The Witcher, whose character is gradually revealed throughout the stories, fights numerous creatures and converses with people about why he doesn't kill all creatures.
About halfway through the book I just felt like I was reading the same story over and over again. I wanted to push through though - I really wanted to get to Blood of Elves. I continued until about 3/4 through the book and then began wondering if I had to read the second prequel. I found myself rushing to finish the book, just so that it was over with. At that point I decided to just give up. People who enjoy the video game or Netflix series might like it better if they already have a connection with the characters. I just didn't feel a draw or fascination with it.