The Winter Road Review

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Author: Adrian Selby
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date:  November 13, 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 496
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

The Circle – a thousand miles of perilous forests and warring clans. No one has ever tamed such treacherous territory before, but ex-soldier Teyr Amondsen, veteran of a hundred battles, is determined to try.

With a merchant caravan protected by a crew of skilled mercenaries, Amondsen embarks on a dangerous mission to forge a road across the untamed wilderness that was once her home. But a warlord rises in the wilds of the Circle, uniting its clans and terrorizing its people. Teyr’s battles are far from over . . .”

I finished The Winter Road last night, set the book down, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. I had to collect myself a moment – had to pause and digest it. The Winter Road is a story of the pain and heartbreak that underlies human achievement. It’s the kind of book I haven’t read in a while, like you’re drawing back the curtain on some grand event in history where everyone knows the glorious result, only to discover the grim truth about how it came to be. One where the reader is pulled through the wringer along with the characters…you may be new on the other side, but the pain and disfigurement of the experience lingers, some parts of you are left in the bucket, and you’ll never go back to the way things were before. Continue reading

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Monthly Reading Goals: March 2019

my post

Nicole over at Thoughts Stained With Ink talked me into trying out this post topic back in January and after running with it a couple of months I’ve decided to keep it going. For now at least.

This isn’t something I usually do because I hate locking myself into a specific reading list. It just never works out for me. As my previous Month In Review posts reveal, I rarely stick to what I set out to read. I might read more, less, or switch books out for others. Rarely to I finish the month as I intended.

So my ongoing rule for this topic will be…

guidelines

Continue reading

Month In Review: February 2019

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Well February is pretty much in the books, time for another month in review post. If I’m being honest with myself I’m a little disappointed in my output this month. I’d hoped to have at least one more if not two more reviews posted but that just didn’t happen. For some reason my reading pace slowed down this month so I didn’t read everything I’d planned, and I kinda blew off one whole weekend when I’d normally have finished a review. I think in part I was just tired, and in part I wanted to do some family stuff. There was also that week where 3 of the 5 staff in my department at work had the flu which meant I was really worn out that week. I did however do some maintenance on the blog which wasn’t something I’d planned…so maybe I’ll call it a draw. Anyway, here’s what happened this month on Off The TBR.

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Review Requests Open Again

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The review request window on Off The TBR is open once again! I’m referring to it as a window because I could shut it again at any time. If I do it will probably be for one of two reasons:

  • I’ve received too many requests and need to pause in order to get caught-up
  • Life has gotten too busy outside the blog and I can’t keep up with reading and reviews

Both circumstances should (hopefully) only bring a temporary window close.

I’ll be taking most of this post and copying it directly to my Review Request & Contact Info page as well as my Rating System page. So really this is an announcement and a copy of what you’ll see on those pages. Both will be updated prior to this post going live. Continue reading

The Bear And The Nightingale Review

img_5124Author: Katherine Arden
Series: Winternight Trilogy Book One
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date:  January 10, 2017 (Hardcover)
Format: Paperback (June 27, 2017)
Pages: 333

“Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil.

Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.

But Vasya’s stepmother only grows harsher, determined to remake the village to her liking and o groom her rebellious stepdaugher for marriage or a convent. As the village’s defenses weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has concealed – to protect her family from a threat sprung to life from her nurse’s most frightening tales.”

Oh man…this book. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know if I was going to like it when I set out to read it. Yeah I’d seen a lot of reviews rating it highly but I still wasn’t sure it was for me. Boy was I wrong…this was so me.

Arden weaves a modern story that feels like a fairy tale set in medieval northern Rus. It is atmospheric and bewitching, with captivating prose and compelling characters that will transport you to another time and place. A place so richly described you can smell the earth, feel the cold, and sense the spirit world around you. Continue reading

2019 Reading And Blogging Goals III

At the beginning of the year I posted about my 2019 Reading And Blogging Goals. I listed ten things I wanted to do this year. Wow ten. I didn’t realize it was that many until I just counted it. Huh. Anyway, I listed ten things I hope to accomplish this year:

  • Get caught up on my reviews
  • Open the blog to review requests again
  • Read more Self-pub/Indie Books
  • Another Self-pub Fantasy Month?
  • Finish up series I’ve started
  • Dragonlance
  • Warhammer 40K
  • Star Wars
  • Clean up the blog
  • Reduce the size of my TBR

Because this isn’t simply a book review blog (I mean mostly yeah but not completely), it’s also my thoughts on books and reading and the blog in general, I’ve decided to take some time to address each one in more detail because I know you’re all riveted by it. OK, truth be told this is really to help me keep on task. Anyway, here’s the second deeper dive into my goals…and for this I’m going out of order… Continue reading

2019 Reading And Blogging Goals II

At the beginning of the year I posted about my 2019 Reading And Blogging Goals. I listed ten things I wanted to do this year. Wow ten. I didn’t realize it was that many until I just counted it. Huh. Anyway, I listed ten things I hope to accomplish this year:

  • Get caught up on my reviews
  • Open the blog to review requests again
  • Read more Self-pub/Indie Books
  • Another Self-pub Fantasy Month?
  • Finish up series I’ve started
  • Dragonlance
  • Warhammer 40K
  • Star Wars
  • Clean up the blog
  • Reduce the size of my TBR

Because this isn’t simply a book review blog (I mean mostly yeah but not completely), it’s also my thoughts on books and reading and the blog in general, I’ve decided to take some time to address each one in more detail because I know you’re all riveted by it. OK, truth be told this is really to help me keep on task. Anyway, here’s the first deeper dive into my goals… Continue reading

The Wolf Of Oren-Yaro Review

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Author: K.S. Villoso
Series: Annals of the Bitch Queen (Book One)
Publisher: Liam’s Vigil
Publication Date:  January 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
Pages: 417

Let me start by saying I’m a bad, bad book blogger and should be punished for how bad I am. I read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro in September as part of Self-Published Fantasy Month here on Off The TBR. SEPTEMBER. The book had already been out four 9 months. It’s been five more months. The book has now been out over a year. Book two has already been published and has been out for ten months. And I’m just now getting around to posting this review. It’s been so long I will miss important details and points because I didn’t take notes and the review won’t be up to my usual standard. This book is good and deserving of a detailed review. Really good in fact. I suck.

Now that I’ve got some self-flagellation out of the way let me tell you something about this beautiful book. Because of what I mentioned above this review won’t follow my usual format and may not be as detailed as usual. (Some of you will like that). Continue reading

Monthly Reading Goals: February 2019

my post

Nicole over at Thoughts Stained With Ink talked me into trying out this post topic last month and I’m giving it another go. This isn’t something I usually do because I hate locking myself into a specific reading list. It just never works out for me. And as my Month In Review for January revealed, though I read more books than I’d set out to read, only half of them were from my original list.

So my ongoing rule for this topic will be…

guidelines

So yeah…I’m gonna look at them as more what you’d call guidelines and post my monthly reading goals. These are goals, or guidelines for what I would like to read during the month. I reserve the right at any time to chase the next shiny object that comes by and read something else. I also add the disclaimer that life can get in the way at any time. With those things being said, here’s my list of reads for February 2019… Continue reading

Month In Review: January 2019

Month In Review2

January has drawn to a close and with it another month on ye olde blog. This month went a lot better than I’d hoped, mainly because I had a lot less going on with work than in the past oh six months or so. I was able to read and post more which was a nice change of pace.

I started the month off with some 2019 Reading And Blogging Goals as well as some Monthly Reading Goals.

guidelines

And sure enough I changed things up. I’d planned to read the following books:

  • Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
  • Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
  • Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

And I read exactly half of those. Here’s what I actually read in order:

  • Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
  • Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen (currently reading)

So yeah…that reading plan was blown out of the water kinda like I thought it would be knowing me. I came across our old copy of Treasure Island before we took our trip to Jamaica and decided it would be great to read to get me in the mood for the Caribbean. Continue reading