Review of “Kraften” by Siri Pettersen

Title: Kraften (~The Power)
Author: Siri Pettersen
Translator (Swedish): Ylva Kempe
Series: Korpringarna #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 535
Published: 2016 (translated 2016), B. Wahlströms
My Grade: 5 out of 5 ravens

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

Everyone in Ginnungad knew who she was, because she was the very symbol of everything they hated. She was Dreyris’ big hope. The proof that they would always rule.

Dreysil, the first land, is a cold world where weakness is despised. It is also a part of Hirka’s heritage, her father’s homeland, to where she has gone to save Ymslanden and RIme. But the corpseborn’s thirst after the Power is enormous and Hirka realizes that the wars that she wants to stop is inevitable.

Kraften is the third and finishing part in the series The Raven Rings, an epic fantasy story about power, hate, arrogance – and burning love.

MY REVIEW

Finishing a series is always a horrible experience. You read and read and read because you so desperate want to get to the end and find out what happens, but once you get there, you realize that there is no more. No more of this amazing journey you were a part of for a whole series. I always have this feeling, and it gets exponentially worse when the series is a good one.

Korpringarna is honestly one of the best series I have ever read. Siri writes in an excellent way, she continues to make the characters feel real. Everything feels real and realisticly written. There is a lot of thought behind every sentence and it is all connected in such an awesome way.

Like with the previous two books, she is flawless when she is drawing up the descriptions of both the world and emotions. I really hope that I will be able to create something similar with my book.

There is one thing that bothers me though. Like I said, there are no loose ends, everything makes sense at one point or another. But why didn’t Skerri call Hirka a traitor when she was there when all the fallen went through the rings? I might have misunderstood when reading, but if anyone have the answer to that question, please feel free to answer in the comments.

No question about it, a strong five out of five!

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Review of “Röta” by Siri Pettersen

Title: Röta (~Rot)
Author: Siri Pettersen
Translator (Swedish): Ylva Kempe
Series: Korpringarna #2
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 524
Published: 2014 (translated 2015), B. Wahlströms
My Grade: 5 out of 5 worlds

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

She had left Rime. He had kissed her and she had rejected him. Without reason. She was not the rot. Had never been. And now it was too late.

Hirka the tailless is not in Ymslanden anymore. Instead, she is stuck in a dying world, which is lacking the Power and rotting from within. In our urban environment, Hirka is paperless and a free prey. Her only ally is a feared manhunter and a corpseborn and Hirka is torn between them. Meanwhile, the longing is gnawing inside her, the longing after Rime and the world she calls home. But all of this fades when she slowly realize who she is and learns of her importance. The source to the rot has been thirsting after freedom for a thousand years. A freedom that only Hirka can give him.

MY REVIEW

I had read no reviews of this, no back cover description. So page 1, was the first time that I realized that Hirka comes to our world, with technology and subways and everything. I did not see that coming and was very very surprised.

When I pictured Hirka running around in Modern Europe, I could only picture her as a cartoon though. The story was good, and got better with every page. But in the beginning, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. Siri Pettersen painted a fantasy world with roots in Norse Mythology, and when it in this book took place in our modern society, it felt a bit more like an urban fantasy, which is a genre I have outgrown a little. It got better when the focus shifted from everything being new, to her calm acceptance.

Röta was more predictable than Odinsbarn and she was a little bit naive. The part where Graal explained himself and Hirka decided if she wanted to trust him or not, should have been longer. It felt rushed. It was unrealistic that she was so trusting right away.

My overall reaction to the second book in this trilogy is great though, the story is solid and it was exciting seeing her in our world, even in Sweden. The end result is a five, like with Odinsbarn.

Review of “Odinsbarn” by Siri Pettersen

Title: Odinsbarn (~Children of Odin)
Author: Siri Pettersen
Translator (Swedish): Ylva Kempe
Series: Korpringarna #1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 661
Published: 2013 (translated 2015), B. Wahlströms
My Grade: 5 out of 5 ravens

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

Imagine that you are missing something that others have. Something that proves that you belong in this world. Something that is so important, that without it you are nothing. A plage, a myth, a human.

Hirka is fifteen winters old when she learns that she is a child of Odin – a tail-less beast from another world which spreads decay. Her whole existence is turned upside down. She is despised, feared and hunted, and someone wants to kill her in order to keep her identity a secret. But there are worse things than children of Odin, and Hirka is not the only creature who got through the worlds…

Odinsbarn (~Children of Odin) is the first part in the series Korpringarna (~The Raven Rings), a spectacular fantasy story with roots in the Norse mythology. It is an epic and violent settlement with xenophobia, blind faith and ambition. The book has become a sensational success in home country of Norway where it is praised by its originality, its language and its intrigue.

MY REVIEW

I have only heard good things about this book, that it is original. It is cooler than “normal” fantasy because it has roots in Norse mythology which is not too common. I agree with everyone who praise this book. It is brilliant. It is so well-written and the Swedish translation was really good. Usually, I don’t like reading fantasy in Swedish (and that is why I am writing my own book in English) but with this setting it was perfect.

The characters were realistic, not supernatural in any way. They acted and thought naturally. Most of the books that I read, I feel that the characters are alive, but this was taking the liveness to another level. They remember stuff that happened to them, things that would have been overlooked in other stories, things that actually would matter and leave a mental scar. Having the point of a sword making a small hole in your back is definitely something a normal person would remember. You don’t have to lose an arm just to have something memorable. If that makes any sense?

Another thing that I really loved about Odinsbarn is that it was unpredictable! Usually you can think ahead and figure out what will happen, but in this book, you read and kept reading until something was revealed that was completely unexpected. That happened a lot. Lots of surprises everywhere, no way of predicting anything. Except the ending, I knew what would happen a bit beforehand.

One slow thing was that it was kind of slow. Power games are important in this world and politics. Siri made it interesting though and easily understood. The whole book was slow in the beginning as well. It took a long time for things to actually starting to happen. And some things were not explained until a hundred pages later when it came naturalyl in the story.

It was an interesting book in many ways and I really liked how it was written. Very inspiring. It is too bad it is only in Swedish, it might come to English at one point? I will give it a 5 out of 5. It is definitely on that top shelf with my other fives.

Review of “A Court of Wings and Ruin” by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 699
Published: 2017, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 tattoos

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

MY REVIEW

I am starting this review with the same phrase as my last one, but perhaps not with two exclamation marks: Oh my god!

The third book in this series is both similar and nothing at all like the third book about Feyre. Similar in style, and I have to admit that the first one is still in one category of itself in some sense that I can’t really explain. It is similar with the types of feelings that exists, the characters are the same. It differs in events. A Court of Mist and Fury is a well-knit together story of how Feyre finds her place in the world, whereas A Court of Wings and Ruin is what happens to her when she is faced with challenges and how to deal with situations with her newfound place.

It is a lot of politics, battles, and surprises that literally made me gasp at some points and had to lay down the book for a short while and think about what actually happened. Crazy intense story with an ending, which could work as the end to the series. Still many things that will happen, but they seem minor compared to the big war that was fought throughout this book. Fortunately, I don’t have to speculate on what will happen, because there will be three more books to come! Unfortunately, I will have to wait a full year for the fourth installment in A Court of Thorns and Roses…

When it comes to grading books, I only go after my general feeling of the book after finishing it. I wasn’t as satisfied as after Mist and Fury, but I don’t feel like it is a 4.5 either. So I give it a 5 as well!

Review of “A Court of Mist and Fury” by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 624
Published: 2016, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 wings

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

MY REVIEW

Oh my god!! How is it possible for a book to be this good? I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I have ever read. This is Maas at her absolutely very best, it almost make you wonder what kind of doping she took after the first one, which was quite frankly, not much compared to this one.

First of all, the characters felt more real, they were way more intriguing and it was so much easier to relate to them. The relationships between the people were more fun, not  necessarily real, or at least those are not the kind of relationships with friends and partners I have experienced previously, but so interesting and entertaining and you wish you had those kind of relationships. The story-telling and environmental descriptions are still amazing and you almost get surprised when you look up from the book and realize that this is the reality.

I can’t write much more if I want to stay away from plot reveals. So I will wrap up with the grade. I would easily give it more than 5 if possible, it is just that good! It took me 9 hours to finish and sometimes i couldn’t put the book down, I would literally walk and read simultaneously! I would also promise myself to just finish the chapter before doing something productive (like writing my master thesis), but I ended up reading 3.5 chapters and then falling asleep with the ereader in my face on the couch. It is just that good! If you felt a little bit hesitant after A Court of Thorns and Roses, forget that feeling, read A Court of Mist and Fury. There will be zero regrets whatsoever!!

I am really glad A Court of Wings and Ruin (#3 was released today). I bought the book before work, finished #2 on my way to work and started #3 on the way home.

Review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J. K. Rowling

harry-potter-07-the-deathly-hallows-j-k-rowling-2Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #7
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 784
Published: 2007, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 horcruxes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

It’s no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it’s up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean.

Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined.

The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry’s Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries.

Above all, this intense, cathartic book serves as a clear statement of the message at the heart of the Harry Potter series: that choice matters much more than destiny, and that love will always triumph over death.

MY REVIEW

These past months have come to an end, all the Harry Potter books are read and I feel a little bit empty. Will the next book I take on be as good? Rereading these books was a really good choice and now I kind of feel like rereading other books I truly enjoyed when I was younger, like His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.

I have written before that there were so many things I forgot from the books and was constantly surprised. In the first four books there were small things here and there, but as the story progressed, I remembered fewer and fewer things and when it came to The Deathly Hallows, I remembered probably no more than 5 things. I couldn’t remember why one of the chapters were called The Malfoy Manor for example. I also had no idea what the last three horcruxes where until it was written out in the book. It was like reading it for the first time, being on the edge of the chair or wherever I was sitting, all the time.

Everything is explained so well, and everything makes sense, and as before, Rowling is excellent at making everything coherent. The red thread is present. And The Deathly Hallows is the perfect ending to the story about Harry Potter. I can’t wait for the next time I will reread them. (Do I really have to write out the grade?)

Review of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J. K. Rowling

harry-potter-06-the-half-blood-prince-j-k-rowling-2Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: J. K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #6
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 607
Published: 2005, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 potions

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

It is the middle of the summer, but there is an unseasonal mist pressing against the windowpanes. Harry Potter is waiting nervously in his bedroom at the Dursleys’ house in Privet Drive for a visit from Professor Dumbledore himself. One of the last times he saw the Headmaster was in a fierce one-to-one duel with Lord Voldemort, and Harry can’t quite believe that Professor Dumbledore will actually appear at the Dursleys’ of all places. Why is the Professor coming to visit him now? What is it that cannot wait until Harry returns to Hogwarts in a few weeks’ time? Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts has already got off to an unusual start, as the worlds of Muggle and magic start to intertwine…

MY REVIEW

The Harry Potter story is getting darker and darker and I definitely felt sad during the last two or three chapters. I knew what was coming, but still, I felt so unprepared for it when it happened and the events following. I am surprised at how little I remember from this book as well, I kept being surprised everywhere, only knowing what would happen in the end. The first four books have very clear separate stories, while the fifth, sixth, and seventh is all one long story and is only in different books because it would be a too big book to hold and read in one go. I think that is why I find it so difficult to tell them apart, mixing the stories together and remember even less than from the first four. It has been like reading the story for the first time, kind of. For example, R. A. B., I can’t remember who it is! I have a vague memory, but it doesn’t match with the initials. So exciting! I almost went to Google to look it up, but I decided that it would be a more fun surprise to read it.

The book is brilliant even though it is very dark, Harry has matured and is not whiny like he was in the fifth book, thank someone for that! There is surprisingly much love in this book, it feels a little misplaced but I guess that is the beauty of love, it happens when least expected. One thing that I thought about while reading (I think this question has popped up during previous books, but I just didn’t remember it) was the spells the Half-Blood Prince came up with. How do you invent a spell? And how can another person use the same set of words, without knowing what they do, but still come up with the same result? Are all spells registered somewhere? And how would Sectumsempra ever be allowed? I would very much like the answer to these questions if anyone knows them.

Even with the minor tears and horribleness at the end, I still enjoy this book very much! Highest grade!