Monday, 18 April 2016

Books I read in March!: Rebel of the Sands, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, A Gathering of Shadows

I read and marked like a zillion essays and dissertations in March so my reading brain was very tired, but I did manage to read three whole books! I also read some graphic novels and you can read my round up of the ones I read in February and March in their very own dedicated post. The few books I did manage to read were the wonderful Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, Ayisha Malik's Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, which I loved, and much anticipated sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic- A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab. 

Rebel of the Sands

I may have initially judged this book by its beautiful shiny cover, but the contents were no disappointment. Set in a desert land with magical sand beasts and a Rebel Prince uprising against the king, Amani Al'Hiza is determined to leave her tiny dead-end town and head for the bright lights of the big city. Our heroine is particularly skilled with guns, and can definitely fend for herself, although it helps that she can pass for a boy. The world building is brilliant- I had amazing imagery in my head of this Middle Eastern meets cowboy Western land, especially appreciating the train scenes, there's just something about a desert train that I really love. Romance, adventure, mythology, and gun-slinging are all woven together beautifully, in what I was very pleased to learn is the first part of a trilogy. Follow Alwyn on social media too, she's great! 

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged 

I took the recommendation of Leena Norms in her Fresh Reads video, and I regret nothing! I loved this book. It was so much fun and I learned so much about British Muslim culture. Sofia Khan has just broken up with her boyfriend, due to his unwillingness to move out of his parents house after their potential future marriage. Discussing her dating experiences at work, as a publicist at a London publishing house, her boss convinces her to write a Muslim dating book. This book is essentially that, a British Muslim dating book. Full of wit and humour, balancing religion and relationships, marriage-obsessed relatives, racists on the tube, praying at work, writing her book,  and joining a Muslim dating site, Sofia's story is extremely entertaining and engaging. 

A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows is the much anticipated sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, and I was very excited to see what would happen next after the very fast paced first book. This sequel takes place four months after the events of book one, and spans several months too, so we get a real feel for the wider world. Lila is the more central protagonist this time and she has essentially become a pirate and it's great. She has also been practicing magic under the tuition of her ship's captain, Alucard Emery, and learning as much as she can about Red London. Back in the city itself, Kell and Rhy are under much closer protection after both almost dying to defeat the Dane twins in White London, with Prince Rhy busy planning the massive international event, The Element Games, to be hosted in the city, and Kell essentially just pining after Lila. I really enjoyed the book, it was a great sequel, picking up the pace from the first book, and continuing this great pacing throughout. I loved Lila's new pirating life, and oh! that amazing opening scene. The bustling crowds of the Games really reminded me of the Quidditch World Cup, so that obviously sat very favourably with me. There was an effort throughout to remind the reader of details and events from the first book, which I found to be very elegantly executed and helpful, and that certainly isn't an easy thing to pull off. I found the chapter lengths to be perfect too; there is really just an overall brilliant attention to detail throughout. An amazing sequel- so excited for part three!

I'm currently reading Riverkeep, so far so good, and I have such a big tbr pile right now it's a little overwhelming but as far as problems go, it really could be worse! I just got a copy of The Girl From Everywhere from Hot Key Books and I have a sneaky feeling it's going to jump to the top of the pile...!

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