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Book Review: The Last Huntsman

BOOK DETAILS:
The Last Huntsman
By Page Morgan
Publication date: September 9th, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Description:

No women. No children. No torture. The Huntsman has his rules.

For years, Tobin has done his emperor’s bidding, eliminating threats to the Empire of Morvansk. But when he is ordered to kill the lovely Princess Mara, Tobin’s absolute loyalty ends. The emperor’s punishment is swift and lethal, and Tobin is left with only one desire: vengeance.

Stay quiet. Stay hidden. Stay free. These are the rules Ever lives by.

Raised as a boy by her overprotective father, Ever has something the Morvansk emperor covets: mirror magic. With it, she can see anyone, anywhere, through the mirror’s glass. The emperor stole her mother years ago for this same magic, and now, he wants Ever, too.

When Ever’s mirror shows the wounded rebel huntsman approaching her village, she’s compelled to help him. But as Tobin and Ever grow closer, and their secrets intertwine, they’ll have to follow the rules they’ve always lived by—or break free from them, once and for all.

The Last Huntsman is in one word amazing. It has mystery, it has magic and it has a little bit of romance. I loved this book and if I weren’t greedy I would have given it a full five stars. But I am greedy, and I would want the character of Ever to have evolved a little more. She is portrayed as a head strong, defiant girl but I still wanted her character to have shown some more colours in the end. She has the courage; only it could have been portrayed with a little more fervour. The huntsman on the other hand comes out very well. His strength, his weaknesses every aspect of his deceptive character slowly unravels before you and you will fall in love with it.

 

What more? The magic isn’t too much. It is simply an aspect of the book and most of it was believable. The book is fast paced and proves to be an excellent light read, nothing too serious.

 

I received an ACR of the book and I am sure that I was one of the few readers who got to read it before its publications. I think this would prove to be a good read for those who like fiction and have the nerve to believe in magic.

 

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Moorings.

 

Weekends shouldn’t be about going out, partying, trashing, shopping, dining, and tiring yourself. They should be about the things that you would want to do otherwise. It should be about, well, honestly my answer changes as frequently as the illogical and unwanted threats, thrown by people who might run a country and yet wouldn’t know how to run a country. So, if you asked me last month what are weekends for, I would have told you the very thing that I denied when I began writing this. I would scream and holler in insta accent “Partay” or “friyay” but this weekend was the reflection of the other shades of me. All I wanted to do was to sit at home, avoid people and read. I did everything else but this.

 

So with a sullen and putrid mood I met a friend and we were waiting for our Uber when she tells me “phones inside”. This was supposed to be our one on one so no phones were allowed. Okay, I wasn’t looking at my phone. And she was the one who had this habit. But I was the one who was being told to keep it inside. I didn’t have a bag or a wallet on me. I had the needed cash in my pockets and thanks to the sizes of the new phones, my phone won’t fit in my pockets. So I said. And so she indicated at her own pockets when I refused to do anything about it. I thought what the hell, is she wearing her boyfriends’ pants? I mean no other way did her phone fit in there. I wonder why is this? I mean why do they do this? Why do men’s pants have pockets the size, which can fit a wallet, keys, sanitizer, kerchief, condoms, phones and what not. I have seen men carrying almost everything that women do, there is nothing different. Yes, except from a sanitary pad, I guess the needs are pretty much the same. Then why in the name of God do they do this to us poor souls? Not all women like carrying bags just as not every man likes not carrying a bag. So, yeah, my friend, she indicated that she could fit her phone in her pocket so I did ask her why and how. She said, this is what you get for not going after brand names and gave me a wink. So now I was wrong in wearing a branded pair of denim! Great!!!

 

But this pocket and bags thing remind me of one other thing. I guess big pockets or not I think I should start carrying a bag always. I mean there is the possibility of my mom calling me here and now and asking me to bring so and so and so things. I tell you the list goes on. Tell me why is it that moms need so much stuff from stores. Okay, don’t tell me. I have asked this a million times and I have got the same answer. You will know when you become a mom. Believe you me, I am in no hurry! Yeah, so she calls me randomly and then there is this store called reliance fresh on my way and I go in and buy those things on the whatsapp message that my mom stresses on sending despite the fact that she just called me and then I realize that I don’t have anything to carry this in. So I ask for a bag and he generously adds 14 bucks for it. This could happen to you too. I remind myself that the next time I am not leaving my house without a bag. I mean yeah sometimes you forget to carry bags, and then the stores make you pay for it and then it is all-fine. But 14 bucks for a plain ‘jhola’ isn’t what I intend on paying again.

 

But that ‘jhola’ and its gloomy look is still better than the goofy smile that that boy gives me on the third floor of my building. He is new. Just shifted. I hate it when they bring such tenants. And by such I mean bachelors. Not that these bachelors are disturbing. Far from it. They are dull bloody boring engineers and I hate it. I hate them not because they live a life of a bachelor but because they are bored engineers who have nothing in their lives except for work. I see them going early in the mornings, dressed formally and return in the night with such dead looks as if nothing is left in their lives. I pity them. But the pity lasts only till I see one of them with that big bright smile of his. Why? Why does he creep me out? And since he is a neighbor now I am forced to smile back which leads to an even bigger smile. Okay fine so from now I am going to avoid coming and going when he comes. Yes, that’s what I am going to do.

 

But I don’t like how he looks. I mean not how he looks-looks, I mean how empty he looks. As if he has nothing left in his life except for work. I have heard him talk over the phone sometimes, dull mundane talks, not that I was spying. He was in his verandah. I was in mine. He was loud enough. I tell you, he could be nothing more than 30 and the way he lives! I guess isolation does that to people. Yes, it must be isolation. That friend of mine? With whom I was waiting for an uber she has made me believe 100% that you mess up your own life when you are so lonely. It makes you do things that a sane mind would otherwise not do. Yes that is it, he is and my friend is lonely! But who isn’t today. Aren’t we all living in the phase where we have only happy pictures not a happy life?

 

Yes, that is true. The 15 year old who put a picture of his new haircut, with that ‘lit’ emoji tags his picture with the quote, “life is hard.” So it must be. Yes, it definitely must be. Life is lonely and hard. So do you think I should become a matchmaker and make my friend meet this engineer guy? Could work, right? I should believe so.

 

But then people believe in a lot of things these days. The man following me on the road the other day must have thought so. I mean he must have really believed that something could happen here, between him and me. Only then would he have driven around town, wasting his fuel, for a whole 30 minutes in the same area again and again. God! It took him 30 minutes to realize that I wasn’t going to stop driving until he stopped following. What was I? Some frenzied woman who would show him way to my home? No! So, I kept driving here and there and he kept following. I wonder how his mind was working? That he would follow me to my home and then since he will have my address he will come to my place again and again and then just like it happens in romantic movies, I will blush and smile and fall for him? I guess so. I think this is the only explanation, only hope for which he must have wasted his life’s 30 minutes after me.

 

Hey, this reminds me the other day I went on my walk and saw someone following me. A very old uncle this time. I was creped. He smiled too. Look at the audacity. But as soon as he passed me it struck me. He wasn’t smiling in a way I was thinking; he was a very old man. He was a guard someplace. I knew him. Yes, it struck me then that he was the guard at my old school and I didn’t smile back. He was the cute guard who held our hands and helped crossed the roads. And I didn’t recognize him, I didn’t smile back. I didn’t even acknowledge him. And so now I am one of those snobs who forget those cute people as they grow up. At least he must think so. See, these pervs do this to you. Ruin every other man for you in every possible way.

 

But among all of this there is something good too. I mean of course our world if full of people whom I (I don’t know about you) abhor but there are little perks of joy in and around too. So as I was telling you about my walks, I have missed something about it of late. There is the cutest little girl who ties two pony tails and stand beside her dad everyday at the same place, same time, waiting for her school bus, looking right in front of her with such command and precision that I’d be mad not to admire her. There is something about that look, command may be or endurance? But as soon as she sees me she will be smiling back at me as if there was no other look in the world that she knows. Her dad once asked her, “Who are you smiling at, Do you know her?” And she just said, “That di”. I mean isn’t she cute. I hope she doesn’t do this with everyone though. Her dad smiles back too since then. But they had been missing since so many days. They are back! Yeaaaaaa they are back and that smile is back. I didn’t realize till now how much I had been habituated to her. My walks have been better since the return of my waving friend.

 

But don’t you think one day this is going to stop. Either I will stop going to walks on that route or she will start driving to school herself. She doesn’t look far from that age. I guess that is how this works, isn’t it. I mean of course nothing is permanent except change. This brings me to another question, if nothing is permanent then what about love? Isn’t it the only thing that doesn’t wither? Isn’t true love the only thing that can beat and overcome anything? Who am I to say? What would I know? You tell me!

 

But then again who would know anything of true love, I wouldn’t. Would you? Hard to say. I mean I saw three relationships breaking in the last week. In just one week I saw three couples go their way, couples who had been together for years, couples who were mature and immature. One of them, a couple I mean has been dragging their drama to me too. This couple generously falls in the category of immature. Well, that is how I see it. So yeah, they have been dragging and pulling at threads and I am stuck in between. Initially, it is fine you know. You think they are your friends ad it would be only good if you could kick some little sense in their rusty mind, but no they won’t get it. They will carry every drab fight to you, as if they are the kids and I am the parent. So I got fed up and wanted to scream, “Dude, if I wanted this kind of drama in my life, I would be in this sort of a relationship myself. I don’t want this shona-babu-baby which is why I am not in this kind of a relationship. Please…. Let me be. I was not in that relationship, you were, I cannot do anything, you can.” But I guess troubled minds don’t get this simple language. Well, but if they don’t get such simple things then why do they get in a relationship? Why do they play the game called feelings?

 

Oh, I got carried away, didn’t I? Became too philosophical, did it? Okay, don’t answer that. I know you won’t. Because even you don’t have any answers. I know you don’t. Well at least my cousin makes me realize that you don’t, I don’t, no one has these answers. Drunk on self-pity after crying for a whole half hour I decided I’ll call her and vent everything that’s bottled within. But before I could muster a dreary and mucus filled hello she started crying! Okay, old story Moushmi! Clear your head and start listening, this doesn’t sound good! Something’s up. And so just like every time you shut up and listen making yourself believe that it is probably for the best not to talk to anyone about it. So, yeah don’t even think about it again. But boy, is she messed up! Well, didn’t I say messed up people and solitariness makes people do things, weird things! Anyways, who am I to judge?

 

By the way, judgment reminds me of one thing. The thing because of which I stared writing this.  No, no not the weekend plans. But my kind of weekend for this week. Books. Enough with the ramblings, and before you kill me let me jump straight, without any glitches in between and without any diversion that could hinder my asking you this very small petite question. What do you do if you don’t like the book that you are reading? I mean I am always torn between leaving the book that I start disbelieving in and my love for reading, simply saying, “They are books, how can you leave them midway?” So far in my entire life there has been only one book that I have left after 100 pages and I don’t even remember which book it was. Isn’t life too short to waste on books that you start disliking? But then again, how do you know if you like it or not unless you read it. But what if you not only don’t like it, you hate it, and you just don’t believe in what the author is saying, he/she is just going round and round and round without making a point just as I am doing with this post? So, yeah enough with this merry go round, I will stop here, and ask you if it is often that you leave a book midway? Or do you suck it and finish it and then judge the author and the book. I know by using the word ‘judge’ I am giving you the full liberty to judge me, but you are going to do this anyway, right? So judge away and let me know about the books. The next time I am leaving a book after a mere 50 pages, there might be less guilt within me, guilt of leaving someone, just as someone else (may be you) might want to leave me. So if you are not one of those who got bored midway and have reached this far you know my question, and I’ll be waiting for your answer.

Book Review: Mae’s Café.

In Chance, Connecticut, it’s about living the small-town life. Here everyone knows everybody’s business. Gossip and drama spread like wildfire in this town.

But I’m happy here, content with my little café where locals come together. Even the rich wives-club have their own corner where they can sit around and swap gossip stories. Luckily, I’ve managed to stay off their radar…until a handsome writer arrives in town.

William is older, wiser, and nothing like any other man I’ve met. The attraction between us is instant, and totally unexpected.

While I try to ignore the connection we share, the entire town starts to notice. Suddenly my personal life has become the new topic of conversation.

A twenty-six-year-old falling for an older man is exactly the kind of gossip that can stir a lot of drama in Chance.

Question is, will our newfound love survive being the talk of the town? 

 

Mae’s Café by Elsa Kurt was hip, in its own way. Mae who runs a small café in a fictional city called Chance, is strong yet vulnerable. She falls in love with William, who is almost her father’s age and yet she thinks things can work out.

 

The book was a smooth sail. Once you delve into it you will be simply taken into the world of Mae full of coffee, gossip and love. The characters of the protagonists are well brought out and even the minor characters are made interesting. My personal favorite was Katrina, Mae’s aunt who is nothing like the aunts that we see. She is cool, calm and ever present for her niece.

 

I found only one problem with the book, which was the obviousness. Somehow, I knew all the while what is going to happen. But who can tell, there is the sequel to the book.

 

This is a cute romantic tale. It could do if you are looking for a light read, easy flowing, immersing book; nothing too serious!

 

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This was a free giveaway from http://xpressobooktours.com/ however, my review stands true!

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Rebel Without A Bra.

Women Rule, But Has Anyone Told The Men?

Mex is heading for the Edinburgh Festival in search of Legless. Hot on her heels is Beryl a leader who has already dropped Mex in it once and now plans to do so again. Beryl must make contact with Mex before Mex finds Legless; retrieve the spark plug but not Legless, find a way back to Planet Hy Man, without Legless and save her planet. And all before the Edinburgh Festival finishes!

A feat made near impossible when considering her arch-rival Hilda, a woman as ruthless as a politician (and with the same dress sense) has access to every high- tech spying equipment going.

A Rebel Without a Bra is the second in the Planet Hy Man series where every hero is a woman old enough to know better and old enough not to care.

 

I chose to read this book, because I was reading four books at one time, all of which were a bit too serious. I thought picking this would make reading a little simpler. Who would have thought, that I wouldn’t put it down?

 

The book is well-written, well-edited, and thought through. However, there is this one thing that kept bugging me, or to say driving me away. This belongs to the category of fiction and fiction takes a lot, I mean ‘A LOT’ to be believed in. For me, it just lacked that. I mean I was intrigued, absolutely, and yet I knew I was reading something and not living it. I know that this is possible, for me at least, but since this book didn’t take me there, I felt a little disappointed.

 

But Kerrie Noor has done a fair job of executing her thoughts, and bringing humor in. Only I felt like I wanted a little more.

 

PS: This book was a giveaway from BookHub.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by khaled Hosseini is about a 15 year old Miriam, married and sent to Kabul without her will. Her entire life is a struggle against patriarchy, starvation, violence and brutality and a fear that lurks constantly over her.

 

While the plot sounds truly traumatic the heroism that is portrayed despite the hindrances is startling. In spite of being subjected to so much torture and hopelessness, Mariam is defiant and doesn’t give up till the end.

 

The first time I read this, I cried the entire night. The book had just come out and I was only a part time reader, the one who picks up a book when someone would recommend me, or when I’d really be bored, or when I’d come across a book and I’d really be interested in the plot. My teacher recommended me this. She had seen me reading now and again, trying to divert myself from every other stuff going on in my life. She saw me reading and she gave me this and one other collection of short stories.

 

I came home, as lost as always and dove right in. I didn’t get up even for dinner. I didn’t care for dinner when a little girl almost as young as me was being beaten, who shed blood like water form her body, who had no hope left in her life, no love; no one. Isolation was her only friend.

 

This was fiction. Why was I crying? I think I was moved beyond repair.

 

Since then I have read this book time and again. Every time I devour the pages of this book, I cry just the same. I don’t know about others, but this book does something different to me. You might not find this to be so poignant but I did then, and I do still.

 

Then, why do I keep picking this up, again and again?

 

This book taught me that fiction could do things to you, sometimes more than reality. This book taught me that somewhere between the pages I could lose myself. This book taught me that words are powerful. This book taught me so much more and it was with this book that I fell in love with reading and eventually writing.

 

Then, why am I doing this review now? Because I read Sea Prayer! by the same author a few days back and it ignited all those long lost memories of the book. I didn’t know even tears bring nostalgia. And because I read a sea prayer I was drawn to this book too, again. It took all my might to stay away from this one, only because I have been reading four books simultaneously and all cry for my attention. And among all those I really shouldn’t have started this one. Start, I did!

 

And I forgot the rest for a while. I don’t know how my self-control has gotten so weak but it has and honestly, I don’t regret it.

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns is dear to me, despite all its hardships and tears that the protagonist and I go through side by side. And I love the book. I love The Sea Prayer, The Kite Runner, and I liked And the Mountains Echoed too, but this is exceptional. It holds a different place. I am not saying this is my ‘favorite’ book, you must know me better than this, that I truly cannot pick one favorite book from so many. I can only say it is dear to me.

 

This being posted on the National Book Lovers Day is just another cherry for me. But then again what is this kind of celebration to someone who reads and reads only to be alive?

Sea Prayer!

A Sea prayer is published as a book but honestly it’s a poem. It is a lucid, magical poem with such colorful and breathtaking illustrations that I spent more time looking and gawking than reading.

 

The prayer seems like a bedtime story for a kid, spoken by his father on a moonlit night, but you’ll realize very soon that it just cannot be a story for that kid. It is way more intense than that. The father, a resident of Syria is not only nostalgic but makes you go through the moving scenarios and memories that run through his mind.

 

Khaled Hosseini is one word the best. I mean come on, have you read his books? In this 10 minute read you will be left with a 1000 different questions and you will have no answer whatsoever. The war, meaninglessness, the fear of unknown, love for his child, for his family, and the terror that grips the father for his child is so well portrayed in so few a words.

 

I guess that is the magic of poetry, you can say so much in so few words and your readers just don’t know what to do with them. It will take literally 10 minutes to finish this book, but I spent 30 instead, gaping at the mind-numbing illustrations, and I am still pondering over the book. It is just moving, but then again I could be biased towards Hosseini. Find out yourself if I am bias or not.

 

Also, I need to thank  for sending me this for my birthday. I had all the books from this author and now I have this copy too.

 

Why so many pictures?

 

It’s an illustrated book, so an illustrated review to tempt you into reading the entire book. 😉

 

Moby Dick!

 

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is an 1851 novel by American writer Herman Melville. Ishmael’s obsessively narrates the quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that on the ship’s previous voyage bit off Ahab’s leg at the knee….

 

I could go on and on about the summary but I might end up just describing the book so I’ll stop here. I am simply going to talk about whether I liked the book or not. Also, I should warn I might end up just disclosing the book to you. Reads ahead and you might come across some spoilers. (In case you are reading or plan to read this book.)

 

So, before I tell you about if I liked the book or not, I will disclose you some random facts which you might already know, but since I am getting bored in the middle of the day, and I have no one to talk to, I might just go on. So, bear with me.

 

August 1, 2019 marks the 200thbirthday of the author that remains unread in English language. There could be many reasons behind it, the assumed complex plot of his book Moby Dick that may have instances of gay marriage, slavery and imperialism and existential crisis, would be few of them. It also has a reputation of being dull.

 

But is it?

 

Well, I am rolling my eyes right now. I want to say ‘no’ but I can’t. I mean yeah, it’s long; it’s dreary but not so much as dull. I am contradicting myself, am I not? But I have a little mixed review of this one. Yes, the author drags and drags about whaling and finding the whale and you start wondering if at all you are going to see that wale in the book. There was a point when I started thinking that if the whale makes no appearance at all, it would be like waiting for an ice cream cone in a hookah bar. But nearing the end, I mean too close to the last few pages; we do get a glimpse of the so-talked-of white whale. So, what I am trying to say is, patience with the book pays off. I did think to give up on this book midway, but considering the fact that the copy was sitting on my table for soooooo long, I had to at least find out what happens. Honestly, I was literally hooked for the first 150 pages or so and lost myself midway because of the too much delay, in thinking if anything is about to happen or not. But then it all picked up nearing the last 100 pages.

 

I did find out what happens, partly though. I do know what happens to Ahab but I still wanted to find out what happens to our dear Moby Dick. I mean, I know just as the other books that leave you hanging you are supposed to make assumptions here, but despite reading more than 600 pages, I still wanted more.

 

So, there you have it, I have mixed reviews of the book. I liked it and I didn’t like it. There is a lot to think about here, you’ll need a lot of patience, I mean a-lot to finish the book even once so the thought of reading it again does not cross my mind as of now. May be later.

 

So, pick this up! I mean if you have that kind of endurance you really should. thoughtco.com claims this to be one of the top 5 classics that you should read in your lifetime. And I think you won’t regret it. It is funny at the same time it makes your brain go on a full time parole.

 

I am sure I would have enjoyed this even more if I had read it at some other time. Last month was pretty disturbing and picking this up then, wasn’t exactly helpful. The book to me was more of the right person that comes across in your life at the wrong time. But then that’s my personal experience. I still recommend this one to really serious and avid-avid-avid readers. You are not going to get along this boy toy if you are looking for something casual.

 

PS: I am weird and I liked Queqeeg more than others.

PPS: I just got to know, with this I make a mark of 500 posts on my page!