Reading Update 19/12/2020

Hello bookwyrms, nice to see you all again and nice of you to check in and have a look see what I’m reading at the mo. You might notice a bit of a theme in the books featured today. They’re all a bit grim and a bit dark. Grimdark if you will. That’s because I’ve decided to do a big old grimdark extravaganza for next year’s Wyrd & Wonder event and I’m prepping early to make sure I’ve got enough content to post a review every single day of the event (crazy right?). Having said that I’ll only be keeping back reviews for series I haven’t already started reviewing on the blog, so you won’t have to wait that long for reviews of Last Argument of Kings and The Tower of the Swallow as I’ve already reviewed the previous books in these series and don’t wanna keep people waiting too long for the conclusions. Anyway, with that, let’s dive in.

Recently Finished: THE COURT OF BROKEN KNIVES by Anna Smith Spark
This…was a very uneven read for me. I’m really struggling to give a short blurb and quick overview of what I thought because I have lots of thoughts about it. I actually just typed a bunch of stuff out and had to delete it all cos I was unwittingly getting into full review territory. Suffice to say I thought it was a frustrating read because it often showed glimpses of being good and just never quite got there. It’s ostensibly the story of a decadent empire in decline and one nobleman’s attempt to rescue it by hiring a mercenary company to assassinate the emperor. It follows the nobleman, Orhan Emmereth, and various members of the mercenary company as they set out to execute the plan. Gahh I’m sorry this doesn’t offer much in the way of opinion but I can’t seem to start talking about it without taking a deep dive. Obviously I’ve opened the floodgates so I’m gonna go write the review straight after this, though I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until Wyrd & Wonder to read it. Soz.

Currently Reading: LAST ARGUMENT OF KINGS by Joe Abercrombie
I started this series over a year ago and still haven’t finished it. Feel like I’m being an absolute buzzkill in this update but honestly I just don’t think it’s that good. I enjoyed The Blade Itself, though in hindsight I was definitely subconsciously hesitant at the time to be too critical about a book that’s held in such high regard in the community. Although I liked it I definitely wouldn’t be so glowing about it if I wrote the review again today. Then I honestly just thought Before They Are Hanged was a major disappointment and didn’t have much fun with it at all. Anyway I’m gonna start this final book in the series later today so the jury is out on how I’ll feel about it, but stay tuned for the review in the next few weeks.

Check out my reviews of previous books in this series:
The Blade Itself
Before They Are Hanged

Next Read: THE TOWER OF THE SWALLOW by Andrzej Sapkowksi
The sixth Witcher book and the fourth novel in the series. Ironically I think The Witcher books are probably the worst written of all the books I’ve talked about today and yet they’re still the ones I enjoy the most haha. Not sure what that says about taste in general, or my own taste in particular – I’ll let you make up your own minds about that. I’m excited to see how things develop in this instalment, even while simultaneously expecting it to be a substandard book haha. I’m also excited to finish this series for other reasons, namely so I can finally watch the Netflix series and play the games. I dunno if many of you have picked up on this, but I can be an absolute weirdo sometimes and really like to experience things in chronological order and usually don’t like to watch TV or film adaptations before I’ve read the books because I feel like it’ll negatively impact my experience if I do it the other way round.

Check out my reviews of previous books in this series:
The Last Wish
Sword of Destiny
Blood of Elves
Time of Contempt
Baptism of Fire

Anyway, that’s it for today’s update folks. Let me know in the comments what you’re reading at the mo, I love to chat about the books we’ve all got our noses in. And if you enjoyed this update why not follow the blog for more reviews and bookish chat.

16 thoughts on “Reading Update 19/12/2020

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  1. Abercrombie is on my permanent blacklist. I can’t explain why without getting into a rage-typing marathon, but suffice to say The Blade Itself actually sent me into a legitimate tailspin about whether or not I even liked fantasy anymore.

    Everyone has a Witcher series, and I feel like everyone *should.* 😛

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He shows up on my “worst of” year end post. (Yes, I’m writing one of those! I’m a monster! I contribute nothing to making 202 better! I’m mean to authors! Etc. etc. etc.) I initially had a line about The Blade Itself that said, “I’m genuinely angry that trees were rerouted from becoming toilet paper in order to print this book.” But I can admit that’s crossing a line, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm, I really loved Best Served Cold although technically I still have to finish it because I was 85% through and then I had to give the book back to my friend I had borrowed it from LOL
        I don’t know that I’ve read much more that is technically grimdark? I’m iffy on counting The Poppy War even though it’s very grim and very dark.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve not read The Poppy War yet (the whole series is actually on my Wyrd & Wonder reading list) but from what I’ve heard I think it more than qualifies haha.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m gonna try and get back into the Witcher series. I kind of enjoyed The Last Wish but was put off a bit by The Sword of Destiny. It just didn’t click for me, but I feel like everyone else really likes it and that has to be for a reason!


    1. Yeah the short story collections aren’t great. The novels as a whole are wildly inconsistent as well tbh and I wouldn’t personally recommend them to anyone, I just still enjoy them despite them being a bit shit.


        1. I’ve been meaning to get into the Warhammer books for ages. Was planning to start with the Horus Heresy series; you reckon that’s a reasonable place to start?

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t started The Blade Itself yet (maybe this is the year?) but I have DEFINITELY been there of subconsciously softening my review for a book because I know how beloved it is. Sometimes a book just doesn’t jive with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really early on when I’d just started reviewing and guess I didn’t have the confidence then to be as bold about not liking popular books.

      I *think* I’m over that now (I’m certainly more forthright about books I don’t enjoy) but there’s always more to learn about ourselves as reviewers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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