David Gemmell. Series - The Drenai Saga

Legend - David Gemmell

2:48:00 PM

Book 1 of "The Drenai Saga"

ISBN - 9780345379061
PAGES - 345
GENRE - Fantasy
PUBLISHER - Ballantine

AUTHOR - David Gemmell

SYNOPSIS - Druss, Captain of the Axe, whose fame was legendary, had chosen to wait for death in a mountain hideaway. But mighty Dros Delnoch, the last stronghold of the Drenai Empire, was under threat from Nadir hordes who had destroyed everything else in their path. All hope rests on the skills of one man.


“Trust your instincts, and make judgements on what your heart tells you. The heart will not betray you.”  
 “Nothing of real worth can ever be bought. Love, friendship, honour, valour, respect. All these things have to be earned.”   
“We make choices everyday, some of them good, some of them bad. And - if we are strong enough - we live with the consequences.”  
“I may be stupid, as you say, to believe in honour and friendship and loyalty without price. But these are virtues to be cherished, for without them we are no more than beasts roaming the land.”  
“May all your dreams but one come true, for what is life without a dream?” 

FL Speak - Mixed feelings.

This book is hailed as a classic when it comes to Fantasy. More so because it is written by Gemmel and the winner of the David Gemmel award every year gets the replica of the 
axe Druss uses in this. Yes, an actual replica. No medals or trophies, the axe is the ultimate symbol of being a master in fantasy. Sanderson won it, Rothfuss won it so you can imagine how famous the history is.

Let's get back to the story. Legend is what you get when you take away the fries, the coke, the stupid lettuce from the hamburger. You're left with the ham. A pretty great ham. Legend is supposed to be about one man, Druss. But once you get into it, you 
realise the sum of the parts is always greater than the whole.

Legend is the story of Druss and death. It is the story of the fort of Dros Delnoch who stands alone against a mighty force. It is the story of plain stupidity, glimmers of hopes and tall tales of the past. There is no fluff, no detailed magical systems. The writing is flawed, conversations that 
don't make sense. This is the simple tale of a man who refuses to die.

When Gemmel wrote this, as you all know by now, he was diagnosed with cancer. This is his brave tale of refusing to give up against an enemy that can't be defeated. Gemmel had a story to tell and he did. The book sorely lacks worldbuilding and makes up 
for it by the sheer strength of the direction to the plot.

Need to read more. 

4/5 stars


Notes on 'The Luckiest Girl Alive'

8:25:00 AM

                'The Luckiest Girl Alive' is apparently the debut work of model-turned- writer Jessica Knoll.The book tries to tell the story of Ani Fanelli,who had a troubled life as a teenager.

              The cover screams loud that it is the next 'Gone Girl'(and it even has a 'Girl' in it's title,incase you have missed it's 'aspiration'). After having finished about fifty percent of this mammoth 400+pages book (I am trying hard to finish the rest), I can confidently say that it's no where close to the Gillian Flynn masterpiece.Jessica struggles to maintain the tone of the book which remains inconsistent through out.The reader never gets to know whether it's a satire(on wedding planning and the 'weight loss exercise')or a dark psychological thriller.There is a graphic description of rape and torture and a supposedly shocking revelation about violence at school,but when the writing is inefficient,all the efforts generate mixed results.The writing is not at all fast paced and the constant back and forth narrative just manages to confuse the reader.On the whole,I am giving it a 2 out of 5. If you loved this book,kindly let us know!


Claire North

Touch - Claire North

5:11:00 PM


ISBN - 9780316335928
PAGES - 426
GENRE - Fiction

AUTHOR - Claire North

SYNOPSIS - Kepler had never meant to die this way — viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place.

Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.

Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into another person’s skin and see through their eyes, live their life — be it for a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime.

Kepler means these host bodies no harm — and even comes to cherish them intimately like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth — and avenge Josephine’s death.


“There is no loneliness more lonely than to be alone in a crowd. No awkwardness more unsettling than the inside joke you do not comprehend.” 

“Nothing is ever quite enough. No matter who you are, there’s always something more to be had, which could be yours if only you were someone else.” 

“True fear is the fear of doubt; it is the mind that will not sleep, the open space at your back where the murderer stands with the axe. It is the gasp of a shadow passed whose cause you cannot see, the laughter of a stranger whose laugh, you know, laughs at you.” 

FL Speak - *deep breathe*

Claire North. You amazing, wonderful writer! 

Have you read "The Fifteen Lives of Harry August"? Go read that now. And then, return to this. Claire is to thriller what Sanderson is to fantasy. A racy plot and a whole different system. 

Who would NOT want to be Kepler? The protagonist. Who would not want to jump from body to body, living your life to your fullest in a different skin, every year or week or hour or for a few mins. You can be Tom Cruise today and Maria Sharapova tomorrow, a whore in a red light area or the POTUS. This is what we have been missing in books for so long. Creativity. Claire North makes it ridiculously simple. 

Be an immortal within boundaries. Hah! Even Gods have issues. A bit of Jumper and a bit of the Host, mash it together with more brains and a chase and we have Touch. This book made me jump up and down, giddy with relief, taut with fear. What do you to when you can be someone else with just a bare touch? And specially what do you do when someone knows what you're capable of and is hunting you? 

Or bring the fight to them? When you've managed to live for centuries and faced off one foe or the another, nothing seems too dangerous. And when you don't see it coming, what would you do? 

Go pick this one up. It's one of those books that never lets you keep down.

RATING - 5/5

domestic thriller

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

7:11:00 PM

         Shari Lapena's 'The Couple Next Door' was one book which I had wanted to read for quite long. It took me almost a year to get hold of this book, but then, once I had it with me, it took me only a couple of hours to finish reading it! Though it had shades of 'The Girl On the Train' and 'Little Face' ,it turned out to be a true page-turner and totally worth the money spent on it.

        Anne is a new-mom and she lives with her husband Marco who is quite supportive of her and her child.They get invited for a dinner by their next-door neighbours and in the process leave their baby at home alone only to realize later that she has gone missing.This suspense filled novel is all about their efforts to get Cora (the baby) back.

       The writing is crisp and fast paced and we get to know many intricate details of Anne and Marco as a couple. There are plenty of twists and turns and at no point of time the reader gets bored. Although the build up was quite good, the climax was pretty lame, I felt.

       On the whole,'The Couple Next Door' is an interesting read.It doesn't have much depth but is definitely a paisa- vasool time pass read! I am giving it a 3 out of 5.



Review: The Nine-Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat

12:28:00 AM

The Nine-Chambered Heart The Nine-Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has each one of us in the cast, and sometimes many different versions of same person. We might judge the protagonist at times , and ignore her actions at other z but there was always a sense of understanding for her behave too. I had to pause at times to think of some of the stories ai have heard and made that so much were reflected in the book.

The book not just tells us nine different stages of same life , of loving but also the connections in each was subtle and yet a good reminder that it's the same mysterious person.

The setting of the book is so randomly vague that it can be any city. Same has been done with the lady in question
Janice's writing style is fresh, real, honest and so much full of kindness for those whom we love, even when reality is so hard.

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Kings of the Wyld - Nicholas Eames

5:06:00 PM

Book 1 of "The Band"

ISBN - 9780316362474
PAGES - 502
GENRE - Fantasy

AUTHOR - Nicholas Eames

SYNOPSIS - Glory never gets old

Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best -- the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld. 

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk - or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay's door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

It's time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.


“As individuals they were each of them fallible, discordant as notes without harmony. But as a band they were something more, something perfect in its own intangible way” 

“You should write a book," Matrick suggested.
Kit snorted. "Who wants to read the self-pitying lamentations of an old revenant?"
"There's your title right there," said Ganelon.”

“Well, you see how big he was. Apparently he broke through a latrine seat and drowned in the sewage below.” A shitty way to go.”

“Clay smiled like a man who’d won first place in a “Whose Life Sucks the Most” 

FL Speak - There are books that you collect, read and keep it in your shelves among other hundreds. And then there are books that you make sure people notice it. This is one such book.

Kings of the Wyld is a tale of heroes, friends, old legends and war. It is also a story of the one thing that is almost always common to epic fantasy - hope against all odds. And it still doesn't make it any less interesting.

The mercenary band 'Saga' reminded me a lot about Steven Erikson's Bridgeburners. Mercenaries, cutthroats and war. I finished it in one reading, foregoing food and fiancee. Although I'll be paying the price soon enough, it was definitely worth it.

The war scenes were particularly intense with a lot of wtf moments. The fact that I was laughing aloud in between some sombre sequences does go to show how the author has brilliantly added humour without going overboard. Even though this is book 1, this can very well be a standalone novel. And that makes me worry. Because the heart refuses to accept that this might very well be the end of something that I cherished.

RATING - 5/5

Abubakar Ibrahin

Review: Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

7:36:00 AM

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are some stories that are doomed from the beginning. And I knew it to be true for this book. I think that is the only reason i took a little more time with the book.

The book is about the affair of an old divorcee Binta and the very young local thug Reza. It is a story of how this one relationship affects their family and their own life. The writing style of the book is very straightforward. There is no fancy poetic feel to the prose but it is rather rustic and it works best to add charm to the setting. The characters are so much detailed and engaging. Though the story moves a little back and forth , it never loses interest. The book shows the history of the city and the political landscape as it progresses with the personal stories about marriages, courtship and the web of extended families.

Such a brilliant story telling and absolutely heart breaking end. I really wanted it to end differently for Binta and I will remember her story for a long time.

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Indian fiction

Review: Is It Maya ? By Saikat Baksi

7:12:00 PM

Is It Maya ? Is It Maya ?

The book opens to the scene of interrogation of Maya ,a celebrity and media gaint. Mixed with the present proceedings is the past of Maya and people associated with her. She appears to be capable of doing anything to achieve her goals but those very goals were in a way thurst on her by events in her past.

Maya's sister is dead and she is accused of the crime. There is proof and a witness and motive ,all against her and yet she keeps screaming that she did not do it.  The story is a  little predictable in the second half but worth the build up of the plot. Totally admired Maya's character and the narrating voice of the book.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

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cozy mystery

Review: The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett

11:19:00 AM

The Liar in the Library The Liar in the Library by Simon Brett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Such cozy cute mystery. I was actually transported to the age of non voilent , slowly unwrapping , investigative stories of gone by era. Loved the realistic characterization of the leading ladies and all the other cast.

I could not understand some of the literary references but the way the author included the working of the publishing industry and the life in a small town , its too charming. After a while I was more engrossed in knowing about the library , the conversations more than finding the killer. Ooh and the title is much clever. I am going to soon check previous books by Simon.

Thanks Natgalley for giving me a chance to read this book.

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Review : Carnegie's Maid by Marie Benedict

3:30:00 PM

I am surprised I never took historical fiction seriously. This book was such a breeze to read. So fresh and simple writing ,befitting the era it is written for. 

Clara travels to america to make money for her family and help them. Luckily for her, she is well read and has a good presence of mind. She takes place of another dead lady of same name and is employed as maid for the matriarch of the Carnegie family. She builds a unique and unacceptable friendship with the eldest son and it is her influences and ideals that drive him to be the man he is known to be. Though this is a fictional account of the personal life , the setting and the history is a pretty engaging read. 

A marvelous lady character and inspiring cast makes this a compelling read. Mixed with history of America during civil war and industrial revolution and the way it affected various people , this book is well researched. Absolutely delighted at the chance to read this book.

My rating : 4/5