Lovers of the fantasy genre will find many of their favourite creatures in this world, each with their own stories and important parts to play in making this an outstanding fantasy adventure. There are nasty little gargoyles, and black fairies with lots of tiny teeth, trolls, elves and pixies.
The villains in this book are written and developed beautifully, typical of Cassandra’s other books. However, I found the growing characters involved in the Cohort – a party dedicated to the control of Downworlders and Shadowhunters opposed to them, to be a very realistic sense of the ‘bad guy’ with themes of war, propaganda and other political concepts often brought to light in Queen of Air and Darkness.
Themes I found particularly engaging were the harsh and committed life of the Silent Brothers – mysterious, powerful archivists and medics of the Nephilim and how Brother Zachariah’s past life had influenced his experience as a Silent Brother. Frequently, messages of love are communicated beautifully throughout all of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles, I found that this particular perspective brought a meaningful layer of depth to these concepts and notions.
The relationship, particularly those between our main characters – Will, Tessa and Jem – strengthens and grows even more through the course of Clockwork Princess, with the conclusion of this book to be one of the best I’ve read. The final scenes and chapters of this book were truly astonishing and absolutely wonderful.
Though Reichs’ style of writing is more simplistic than others I’ve read previously, he compensates for this by having a crazy storyline, packed with twists and turns, and changing alliances. In Nemesis, strangers join together in order to survive and friends turn on one another. Betrayal, intrigue and mystery keep the reader turning pages like a maniac.
One of the things that worked really well in Throne of Glass was the change of perspectives of characters. One minute I was reading about Celaena’s perspective of a fight she’s in, and then the next paragraph would swap to Dorian’s view of the fight. This helped the reader engage more deeply with the characters and created a better understanding of the bonds between characters and the way each character is feeling about each other during these moments.
A Biography of a Chance Miracle is a collection of stories that appear unnoteworthy at first glance, but swell and fill the imagination as one reads them. The final twist is both perfectly surreal and perfectly logical in a book whose hero’s stubborn faith—in herself, if nothing else—is nothing short of magic.
Morrigan is an empathetic character with just the right combination of pluck and humility, and her increasing awareness of the importance of friendship, and of her growing sense of self-discovery is a subplot that drives the narrative forward, along with the competition trials and Morrigan’s desperation to find her gift.
Walking Through Walls is just right for around 8-12 year olds (or to read to younger children), providing an engaging, engrossing story with a strong plot, lots of atmosphere, and a positive message that is perfect for young readers, without being preachy. The story is set in the sixteenth century, and is based on an ancient Chinese story “Taoist Master and the Lao Mountain,” also an animated film Lao Mountain Taoist. Cioffi fills the story with details to evoke the setting and timeframe, from the mountains in the distance, lemon lilies, yellow cakes with red berries and tea, and the scents and sounds of rural life.
With these recurring themes and patterns of place, Silver establishes an internal logic to a book that otherwise often appears random and almost too wondrous. But because of her skill with both description and with the larger structure of the work itself, Silver is able to craft a coherent narrative that works both as a fairytale and a question. Little Nothing leaves a reader both entertained and puzzled; like a work of art should,