Book Review – A Storm of Swords

I am BACK with the review for the third book of A Song of Ice and Fire, A Storm of Swords. I must say, this is my favourite up to now. I think that the action finally starts to take place and gear us towards the endgame, even if we are still at the beginning. There are obviously going to be spoilers in this post, my apologies.

The game of thrones becomes more and more cruel, bringing divinities out to play (and I am talking about R’hllor) as well as wights and Others. I did not think I would be glad reading so much of the land beyond the wall, but I was pleasantly surprised. Jon has slowly become my favourite character and I think he is the ultimate hero, the ultimate good man. I am sorry to say that Ygritte is not a character I liked and I was not impressed by her death nor her personality.

The most infuriating event was of course the Red Wedding. There is nothing that justifies it and the law of hospitality did nothing to save King Robb, whom I actually liked. I think that narrating that scene from Catelyn’s perspective was genius, and as you read you can feel her going mad with pain, which left a bitter taste in my mouth, a lthough nothing infuriated me as much as Grey Wind’s death. If there is one thing I cannot stomach that is the death of animals.

Arya’s travel with the Hound is…interesting, I suppose. I do think that she has grown and matured and maybe even lost a bit of humanity while with him, but I do not think that it changed her more than the previous events in her life. Her journey in Braavos will be far more challenging.

As you may guess, my absolute and uttermost favourite moment of this whole grand book was Joffrey’s death. Never have I read about a more despicable and downright mean character in my whole life and I laughed when he found his rightful end. Of course, Tyrion’s trial was not what I would have wanted and certainly Prince Oberyn’s death was unfair and stupid on his part (and even made me sad with his love for his dead sister Elia), but it shows how good and honest does not always win. Besides, Tyrion’s vengeance with his father and his brief encounter with Jaime is what I craved and finally got, despite actually liking Tywin’s character, flawed and all.

Now, my absolute favourite new feature of this book was Jaime’s point of view. I cannot tell you how much I love this character and how I think he is the best developed one in the whole story. His slow realisation that his sister may not be a goddess sent by the Seven is something I have waited for a long time. Him taking charge of the Kingsguard and writing his own page in history, with victories and defeats, makes him a great man, and it shows that he was not just his sword hand.

Sansa. I always dreaded when I had to start reading one of her chapters, but they always turn out to be better than expected, mostly thanks to the other characters. I was pleasantly surprised by the chapter in which Littlefinger gives her advice to fight her way through the world and I must say that some of that advice is applicable today. RIP Lisa Arryn, you crazy and jealous woman whom I never could stand.

Davos is also a favourite character of mine, especially thanks to the way he played Melisandre right before the end. Stannis is, in my opinion, still a good man at heart and could take the right path if only he listened to his Hand more than to the Red Priestess.

And finally, Daenerys. She has conquered and also lost quite a lot in this book, but I still do not like her. Call me hateful, but I think that with the ways she chooses to enforce authority in Meereen, she is becoming mad as her father. This may be just a feeling I have, but I hope Ser Barristan Selmy will somehow keep her on the right track.

I cannot wait to read the next two books. Maybe when I will be done with those our beloved George RR Martin will come out with the sixth one, but maybe that is false hope.

Thank you for reading.

xx

 

 

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Book Review – The World of Ice and Fire

Now, you guys have probably understood that I have become a true Game of Thrones fan. And as a fan, I wanted to have all the fictional historical facts I could find. Therefore, as a birthday gift, I got this amazing and quite extensive book which tells the story of Westeros and Essos.

At the beggining, I could not put it down. The facts about how the Seven Kingdoms started were too amazing to read later, but after a while you get confused with all of the various Targaryen kings and start losing track of who did what. That is why I advise you to read it casually and then reach for it (at least for the first, historical, part of the book) once you encounter the names in the actual books.

After that part, you get into the actual Seven Kingdoms and their respective history and description, one by one. My favourite is Dorne, as it reflects the social and political values I would like to find in the world of today. Equality between sons and daughters, true born children and bastards, wives or paramours, that is why Dorne is so ahead of its sister kingdoms. A sentimental favourite I would find in the North, where true values seem to never have shifted through the centuries. As much as I love the Lannisters, I did not fall in love with the Westerlands.

Now, the third and last part of this book is dedicated to Essos, and since it is the lesser known territory, it was destined to be my favourite.
I am fascinated with all of the tiny islands that we still do not know enough about and with the three guardian cities (Kayakayanaya, Samyriana, and Bayasabhad) that divide the Vaes Dothrak from the Bones.

Above all, I thirst to know more about Asshai by the Shadow, which only has 2 pages in this book. It is so mysterious and unexplored that I was really dissapointed it did not have more space here. Maybe we will find out later, if George RR Martin feels like delighting us.

All in all, this felt like reading a very entertaining history book, extremely realistic (besides the dragons) and believable.
Score: 9/10

Thank you for reading
Xx

Book Review – Girl Code

While I was waiting for my train to arrive in Termini Station in Rome, I decided to take a look at motivational books written in English in the bookstore inside said station. I did not have much cash on me and so picked out an average-priced women-centred piece of work: “Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur“, written by Cara Alwill Leyba.

You can find the book on Amazon, right here. Now, if you, like me, had no idea who the writer is, let me tell you a couple of things about her: she is a badass. Pink hair, strong mottos like “Woman first, boss second” and a website called “The Champagne Diet”. She is an extremely motivating and positive person and that is clear from the first page of the book.

She has made it her life mission to motivate and empower women so that they can become the boss they always wanted to be and that is what she is doing with this book. It is a quick read which took me less than a week, only reading half an hour a day. It explores various themes, all introduced by quotes of famous women. The themes I most enjoyed were failing, connecting with other women, and trusting oneself’s potential, along with her original concept of “limitless luxe”.

If you want quick motivation on how to better your attitude towards other women, how to find sanity, and then imagine whatever it is that you want to accomplish in this life, you will enjoy this book. Of course, plenty of books like this have come out in recent years, with the new feminist wave, and that I love, despite taking away from the originality of the concept; regardless, the more girl power there is, the better.

Score: 7/10

You can also find Cara on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Thank you once again for reading.

xx

Book Review – A Clash of Kings

Here I am, back with the review of the second book of A Song of Ice and Fire. I must say that I probably enjoyed this book more, simply because the tv show, despite following most of the events, did not feel as a carbon copy of the book, therefore making the reading of the book more enjoyable.

Trying not to divulge too much of the plot for those who have not read it yet is impossible and I am sorry. So if you have not reached this part yet, I recommend you click out since I will now make a list of my favourite events:

  • Renly’s death: this was probably the moment where we, as readers, realised that magic is indeed real in this book, under the form of Renly’s killer and that Melisandre might not be as crazy as we all thought;
  • Brienne’s introduction: Brienne is one of my favourite characters and I could not wait for her to be revealed. Her loyalty is probably her most interesting feature and I cannot wait to see how it develops in the later books;
  • Jaqen H’ghar: I just love everything that has to do with Essos and he is no exception. His demeanour and mystery make me love him even more, especially seeing his relationship with Arya evolve;
  • Battle of Blackwater Bay: probably one of the few times I actually appreciated Sansa’s point of view (POV). I loved the back and forth between her POV and Tyrion’s and how the battle was lived inside and outside of the Red Keep. Of course, I cannot forget to mention Tyrion’s brilliance;
  • Jon Snow killing Qhorin Halfhand: again, in this moment I understood how great and meant for greatness Jon really is. He is one of my favourite characters and him being loyal to the Watch through and through left me speechless;
  • House of the Undying: all the prophecies there are so amazing and I cannot wait for all of them to happen. Anything regarding Rhaegar I love, so him saying that his son is the prince who was promised and that his is the song of ice and fire just makes me hope.

Regarding my favourite POVs, Tyrion takes the gold, while Davos is in second place. They are also my favourite characters throughout; I do also enjoy Jon’s, although I am not a fan of the whole behind the wall narrative. The POVs I do not really enjoy are Theon’s and Bran’s (besides when he has visions of the past).

All in all, I loved this book and I see how it sets the foundation and stepping stones for the rest. I am reading A Storm of Swords as of right now and I will keep you updated.

Score: 9/10

Thank you for reading.

xx

Book Review – The Power of Habit

Do not hate me, please. I know I have been absent for the past two months, but for good reason. I had my finals at high school and I mean my final finals. I graduated from high school! I am so happy and relieved and stress free it does not even seem real. I can finally read the books I want to read and chill and enjoy summer…until September comes along and UNI starts, but I am excited about that.

So here I am, back with another book review. This time I bring you The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I bought this book at the JFK airport in New York, on my way back in March. As soon as I saw it (the cover does attract attention) I wanted it. It cost $16 and it is worth so much more than that.

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The genre it is part of is Business/Psychology and that explains half of it. Charles Duhigg decided to research why people do certain thing in life and business. He put together all the research done by scientists regarding habits and habit loops and cravings and served it to us on a pretty and understandable platter. I must say that the book is full of real life examples, also of pretty famous people (Michael Phelps was my favourite one). It is the kind of book that, if you take very seriously and practice what it preaches, could change your life.

It tells you how to recognise habits, how to re-wire them for your gain and how to apply that in every area of your life. I am very happy to have found this book and it is the first of its type that I read; I already have a long list of others like this to purchase.

Score: 9/10

Thank you so much for reading.

xx

 

Book Review – milk and honey

This is the first poetry book I review and I must say I am proud of myself. I am proud of myself because I have evolved from the scholastic mentality of hating poetry because we were force-fed it for so many years.

We can say I started with a bang. “milk and honey” is one of the most famous contemporary poetry works and it sold over one million copies in order to make it to the top of the New York Times’ bestseller list. The author is a woman called Rupi Kaur who, in her works, decided to analyse hurt, depression, love, healing, femininity, and abuse.

This book is divided in four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. All these parts are mended together by the awareness of the author of what she deserves, and that is the best. It explores all parts of being a woman, a person of colour, a heartbroken human, someone who wants to heal. She shares her past experiences of lost love and abuse and she lets us know that hurting in normal and that healing will come. Putting one’s soul on paper in the way that she did is admirable and reading these pages felt like getting to know somebody. Somebody who comes from a different cultural background than I, yet somebody who’s heart felt the same hurt I felt.

Talking about formalities, this is not the same poetry we were taught in school. There are not many rhymes and rather than musicality we find obvious meaning which hits you in the face.

If I were to give this book, or should I rather say soul, a score based only on the themes explored, I would give it a 10/10.

Unfortunately, personal taste comes into play, and I am still in love with Dante’s poetry, where you are embraced by rhymes and music.

Score: 8/10

Thank you for reading.

xx

Book Review – A Game of Thrones

I finally gave in to the Game of Thrones craze and decided to ask as a gift the first book of the series, A Game of Thrones, and the special companion book, The World of Ice & Fire. I read the first one quite quickly and I am halfway through the companion book, but since it is full of “historical” events, I get bored easily and I prefer to only read a bit at a time.

Let me start this review by saying that if you have watched the first season of the HBO series, you already know what happens in the first book. It is 99% the same thing.

In case you do not know anything about this series, it follows the life and adventures of various characters, from various points of view, living in Westeros, a fictional land. I would say, if we were to collocate it chronologically, that it would be set in fictional medieval times.

The whole plot is based on games of power and the fight between various houses, especially Lannister and Stark, with a side of Targaryen. Telling you about the characters would ruin everything for first time readers, so I cannot reveal too much. I can only say that my favourite house is House Lannister and that my favourite character is Tyrion Lannister, a very intelligent, overall good, and witty man.

There are no bad things that I can say about this book, to be completely honest. Okay, it is very long, but it is extremely worth it. The length is proportional to how much information is contained and how many dialogues George R.R. Martin had the fantasy to conjure.

I have already gotten the next two books of the series and I promise I will review them as soon as possible.

Score: 10/10

Thank you for reading.

xx