The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

By: J.R.R. Tolkien

Synopsis: Whisked away from his comfortable hobbit-hole by Gandalf the wizard and a band of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon…

Format: The Hobbit is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series. It follows the adventure of Bilbo Baggins as he grows from humble homebody to the barrel-riding burglar of the Lonely Mountain. My edition was printed in 1999 by HarperCollinsPublishers.  It is 310 pages long.

My Thoughts: What can you say about this book that is not positive? This book, as well as the Lord of the Rings, literally redefined the fantasy genre. This book at once takes you away on a magical journey, yet leaves you with the feeling that everything that happens in it is real and true. Despite the dangers in the world of Middle-Earth, you yearn to be there and experience this world in-person. You wish to meet these characters, face to face, and have long discussions about anything with them.

In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I really like The Hobbit. This was the book that brought me into the fantasy world (one I haven’t left since!). The characters feel like family to me. As I picture myself having created a novel, I always wish I would have written something half as compelling as this book.

I know the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have been adapted into movies (I watch them often) but please, read this book. Not only is it better than the movies, it is also better than the movies! If you want an adventure involving the noble battle of good versus evil, with epic heroes and terror-inspiring villains, this is the book for you. This book will make you feel like you have learned something while dreaming. If you want more information about this just do a quick google search. They use this book to teach in schools for crying out loud!

Check it out and let me know if you loved it as much as I have!!

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The King’s Bastard By Rowena Cory Daniells

The King’s Bastard

By: Rowena Cory Daniells

Synopsis: Only seven minutes younger than Rolencia’s heir, Byren has never hungered for the throne. He laughs when a seer predicts that he will kill his twin. But the royal heir resents Byren’s growing popularity. Across the land the untamed magic of the gods wells up out of the earth’s heart. It sends exotic creatures to stalk the wintry nights and it twists men’s minds, granting them terrible visions. Those so touched are sent to the Abbey to control the gift, or die. At King Rolen’s court enemies plot to take his throne, even as secrets within his own household threaten to tear his family apart.

Format: The King’s Bastard is the first novel in the King Rolen’s Kin trilogy. It introduces us to the royal family of Rolencia, after a long period of peace, as the court intrigues begin taking darker turns. My copy is 640 pages long, and was printed in 2014 by Solaris.

My Thoughts: Honestly, this was a book that I had purchased long ago because the synopsis was intriguing, then I forgot I had purchased it! It sat on the shelves, patiently waiting its turn for my attention. Now that I have read it, I regret waiting so long. Strongly, strongly regret. This book manages to keep you in suspense even when it is introducing you to the world and the people in it. There is a beautiful tension that keeps building throughout the book, even into the last pages. I literally could not put this book down. The characters were fascinating. Even the ones doing “evil” things were compelling and felt like whole people.

I fully believe everyone thinks they are the good guys. And the interesting thing about this book is that one of the characters you follow closely shows all of the traits of being the good guy. Not ambitious, or greedy, this character (Byren) just wants to help his family and friends. The more evil characters conspire to use that against him, and it really shows how much you feel for a character when you get the same reaction to the scenario as the character. That is truly masterfully written.

Another interesting dynamic is the magic in the world. Being touched by the gods, or gaining Affinity, is not seen as a good thing. In the kingdom of Rolencia it means you either go to an Abbey or you leave the country forever. Having magi almost becomes a weakness, and is seen as a fault in the characters that do have it.

A really good, one-word, description for this book is intriguing. A lot of the elements of this book are intriguing, as well as the story keeps you curious and in suspense. If you have not read this book, or have not heard of it, you have no more excuses! Go and pick it up now!

Let me know what you think of it in the comments!

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Gunslinger

By: Stephen King

Synopsis: On my edition, there is no synopsis. There is a fantastic introduction by Stephen King, and a foreword. Both of these features really add to the novel, and I recommend reading them! As for a homemade synopsis, The Gunslinger introduces us to Roland Deschain and his pursuit for the Dark Tower. So we join Roland as he introduces us to a world that has moved on, and things routinely go from straightforward to downright weird in a matter of seconds.

Format: The Gunslinger is the first book in The Dark Tower series. I have a revised and expanded edition, whereas before my edition was released there was a previous edition. My copy is 300 pages long, and was published in 2003 by Signet.

My Thoughts: If you have never read any Stephen King novels, and are looking for something great to start with, I am hard pressed to recommend this book more. I have read other works of Stephen King, and this is still my favourite series. Stephen King is known for horror, and this definitely has dark and gruesome elements, but it is more of an adventure than a horror.

Don’t get me wrong, reading this can leave you feeling slightly disgusted or scared at what the characters are doing or what the characters are facing. There are some situations in this book (and they get a bit darker as the series progresses) that assault the senses. Especially if you are sensitive to these things. However, everyone feels so real in this book. You can understand why Roland acts the way he does, and all of the situations in this book fit the characters and fit the world. The characters mention that the world has moved on, basically their world is ending, and we get to watch the last remaining pieces fight over what is left. It is truly a fascinating look into an apocalyptic situation.

The great thing about this novel is the way the author can anticipate what you think will happen, and do something different. The twists and turns that happen throughout the story keep you reading until you are done the book, whether you wanted to after the first chapter or not! Highly, highly recommend this book and series!!

Tell me what you think in the comments!