Odalisque by Neal Stephenson, Volume 1 of The Baroque Cycle, Part 3, A Review

This is the final book in Volume 1 of The Baroque Cycle and I am very pleased to say that Stephenson wraps things up very nicely while still leaving me wondering what happens further on.

This book contains both the evolving stories of Daniel Waterhouse and Eliza during the tumultuous 1680’s. Charles II has died and there is a new king of England, however, of course, things are not that simple. A new word is born, Revolution, or at least, given new meaning. Not only a “revolving around” but now a Revolution as we commonly know the word today, as an “uprising”. And Daniel and Eliza, although both in completely different parts of Europe, are quite in the middle of everything.

Neal Stephenson writes so clearly about these sophisticated political situations and, also, the ideas of Natural Philosophy at the time, that I have no problem understanding and following along. One thing I would like to mention that this first Volume has taught me, and that is that humanity in the late 17th century could be just as polite, nice, charming, vicious and vile as it is today.

There is so much quality to match the quantity of this massive Volume, so if the sheer size of the books of The Baroque Cycle scare you, I can assure you it is more than worth your time.

I highly recommend this! Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Quicksilver (Part One) by Neal Stephenson, A Review

This is part one of Volume One, entitled Quicksilver, of The Baroque Cycle. This was fascinating. There are not many other works that so truly fit in the Historical Fiction category that I have found to be so utterly fascinating. It’s as if Neal Stephenson somehow traveled through time to the mid to late 17th century and came back to generously tell us about this exciting, thrilling, disturbing and even sometimes humorous time period.

One of my favourite aspects to this book was sharing the joy and often, dissatisfaction, that comes with discovery. After all, what a time period to be alive in. This story is mainly told from the perspective of Daniel Waterhouse who happens to be a friend of Isaac Newton, a natural philosopher and also a member of The Royal Society of London. However, currently Daniel is remembering all of this while boarding on a ship trying to make it’s way out of the Massachusetts Bay and back to England 30 years later. This may sound confusing, it’s not, its awesome, trust me! There are even pirate fights!

Long story short, if you love learning about history and what discoveries led to our current way of life, you have to read this series. Also, you should read it because Neal Stephenson shows off his amazing skills in conveying the feeling of this insane time period in his writing.

I highly recommend this! Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski,  A Review

This story begins with Ciri relating her version of what has come to pass to another legendary character, although not a character from this particular legend. This book highlights the depths of storytelling with legends within legends and myths within myths.

Geralt is currently “wintering” in Toussaint, a land of fairytale beauty. Yennefer, however, is a prisoner in Vilgeforte’s citadel. But although her captor and associates are trying to break her down, she keeps her spirit and stays the strong-willed sorceress I love.

This second to last book has everything. Daring rescues and all out battle, particularly the Battle of Brenna which is the last in the war that has been raging between the Northlands and Nilfgaard.

Although I loved this book, the ending makes me wonder exactly how this story is going to continue when it feels like it practically already has finished.

The Tower of Swallows by Andrzej Sapkowski, A Review

Right now it is the autumnal equinox, Velen, and the people are celebrating and feasting throughout the land. However, as night fell, this did not hold back the nightmares that came to life, galloping across the midnight skies. Perhaps this was a sign, a sign for a specific occurrence linking many individuals and leaving them awake and gasping, wondering about the meaning of these horrific dreams or visions.

Ciri, very luckily, finds herself in the hands of the learned hermit, Vysogota, and in his hidden and out of the way dwelling in the marshlands. As Vysogota heals Ciri, particularly her wounded face, she reveals her story of what brought her to this place at this time. Vysogota matches her embittered spirit with his own, and they find common ground to create a healing friendship and perhaps lose some of the bitterness and gain some inner strength to keep fighting.

I will say, I did figure out what happened to Yennefer… only to finish this book and be in the exact same situation… not having any idea if Yennefer is dead or alive. I have an idea, but I wish it was clearer. The Witcher, Geralt, is still among his friends, however his story seems to stop about midway through this particular book and I really cannot say what state he actually is in at this time. Time, that particularly would be a good thing to be made more clear in this book.

So… I really did love this book. I did immensely enjoy the intriguing politics and the intricate details that may make other readers, well, bored! I can see how some people would feel that way, and, in fact, I talked to a few people with that opinion. However, that doesn’t mean it is how everyone or even the majority of readers feel, just the handful I talked to.

I have already started The Lady of the Lake, which is the fifth installment and second to last in this series. So far, I am very excited and thoroughly enjoying it!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

The Brightest Fell by Nupur Chowdhury, A Review

This story begins with Jehan finding himself buried in paperwork, which he hates. However, he may be expecting the boredom of this seemingly endless paperwork but what he doesn’t expect is the explosive attack on the nearby metro.

Jehan works at the Institute and he is the creator of a drug called Amven which is supposed to make people less violent and more docile. However, he may have his own beneficent ideals for this drugs use, but others want to use it to gain power. Jehan wants to keep the drug out of the hands of politicians, even if that means betraying his close friend and mentor, the Prime Minister.

This is when the reader will meet a few other very colorful characters, the son and daughter of the prime minister, Abhijat and Rito. Abhijat left the army to revenge his father and becomes the prime example of when hatred and vengeance blind a person to the truth.

This book is full of intense political maneuvering but the author makes it so much fun to read and easy to understand. Chowdhury is a pro at writing intriguing dynamic characters and, I must say, that this book went in a direction that I never saw coming and I LOVED IT. The serious nature of political manipulation mixed with the appropriate and distinctive sense of humor the author uses makes for a genuinely fun read that I could not put down.

I highly recommend this book and I am looking forward to seeing more from the author, Nupur Chowdhury!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!