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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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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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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?

A Year Older, A Year Wiser #3

I am sitting at my over embellished desk staring at the picture that I so adore, sipping tea. Sipping tea has been the highlight of the day these days, well, not exactly sipping tea, but trying various teas has been. I am so bored and useless that all I look forward to a day is sipping tea. From Hibiscus to white, I am trying all of them one by one. Some I liked, some just tasted like warm water! So, todays sachet was titled blue youth! Ironical, since I am taking tiny steps away from the youth. Anyways, yeah, blue youth was good. A herbal infusion of.. oh let it be. I know no one is interested. Today, not even me!

 

So yeah, the tea is good and I am typing this laboriously, laboriously I say because I am not even the mood of typing, or to say talking. But I am bored and I want to talk too. Yeah, see how messed up this is. All day long people have been texting/calling and so far I have only wanted two of them to talk to me. Rest are just making small talks, weirding it out over awkward questions that come up when you realize that you have started talking only on birthdays, or the other half of the people are just doing it for the sake out of doing it, you know since you wish them, they wish you too, types.

 

So yeah, I am typing and talking into the oblivious and thinking too. What exactly I am thinking? I wish I could point at this. What to do with my life? Whether to pick up this damned phone that has been wringing since eternity or what to eat if my stomach grumbles. I sip that tea instead.

 

What possible good can thinking bring anyway. I have been worried all through, if I’ll pass, if a job is going to work out, if everything else is finally going to find some calm. Thinking did no good. Working towards it did no good too. Things aren’t working out. They just aren’t. 2019 was supposed to be better. At least I thought so. But thinking and pondering isn’t helpful, and yet I think. You’d think I might learn from my mistakes.

 

Learnt or not, I improved things too. I mean I don’t think ahead now, or I only think as ahead as the next minute, or at the max the next hour. I mean if I have to get a pizza then I need an hour, because the pizza guy is going to tell me when I order, that they are sorry but it is going to take more than half an hour to deliver due to the overflowing amount of money in their chains pockets.

 

But anyways, I am thinking so much that all the pending chores come to mind. I have to do this, send this, check that, get that done, deliver this, write that, read this, print that! I let a sigh pass and decide I will start with that document to be printed. But for that I will have to go to our office. I twist and scrunch my nose, the thought itself cringes me. I hate going out of my room these days, let alone, my home. Not that our office is too far away, but I abhor the idea.

 

However, I know I have to get it done. I mean at least I have to get this much done today. Rest can be figured our tomorrow. Still, I go out of my room and look at my brother. He gives me the all-knowing smile; telling me don’t even ask me to do anything now. I sigh for the millionth time today.

 

I gather all my things, keys, purse, pen drives, phone which I don’t want right now but take any way, and go out. The after rain wind slaps my face mocking me, asking how long do you think you could stay away from me. I make a face; I guess all I am best at is doing that.

 

I start my scooty. As usual it plays with me and doesn’t want to start. But I know it, and it boosts up, right at the third attempt. I give it a speed of 60 and want to rush out of the parking lot. Common sense takes better of me. I slow down.

 

My office printer isn’t working, my dad says do it outside, and while you are at it….. a list of chores come my way. I forget my things and start on that. After an hour I am done, and back at office. He asks me if I got my copy of print?

 

Huh? What print?

 

I go back and get a copy of what I wanted. There is someone standing behind me, a woman, little older than me. She tries to make conversation. I don’t want to talk to her. But she pesters. And I just can’t be rude. I have tried it. I am bad at it. “So the results are out ha?” she peers over my saved document.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Did you clear it?”

 

She probably has already seen my marks, percentage and my percentile. Yet she is asking, I don’t want to talk, especially not about this. So I won’t repeat it here. I didn’t fail. But needless to say that I am not intelligent enough has been proved.  I wonder again. I wander again. What exactly happens to those who are mediocre? I mean the extremely intelligent people are focused right from the start and fly right after high school. The dumb are sure that they are not brilliant, and settle soon. Which leaves me with people like myself- the middle benchers, trying to fit in, sometimes so much interested in knowing, sometimes wanting to learn, sometimes wanting to make something of them, sometimes confused, sometimes focused, and sometimes just lost.

 

Now, it might be my fault that I haven’t been so focused since ever, but now what! I am another year old today and yet nowhere near where I can vouch and say that I am trying to do something. Don’t tell me I am not old. Yeah, yeah, I know I am not old. But I am not 20 and only out of school. I have been told repeatedly that I don’t look my age, while that may be so good to hear, but the reality is everyone else my age now knows what they are meant to do while I am still unsure of what and how exactly am I suppose to be doing anything.

 

I suck! I know I am so wrong in comparing myself to others, but I can’t help it. I mean there has to be something in my life, which for once, does not; cannot; must not go wrong. I mean for once it can happen right! I am not afraid of failures, I am not. Only, I am afraid that time is running out and I literally have no idea where to go from here. And as these thoughts run through my mind, I am handed over a copy of my lame future. The woman smiles at me. May be next time? Yeah, I say and run.

 

I run to my scooty and rush it. For the first time it starts at one go and I speed through. I calm down. And stop racing like the maniacs who are following me. Not again! What do these guys actually have in their minds? Do they have so much time and money to simply run around the city and follow some deranged woman!

 

I am just not in the mood to take this shit; I just am not! I speed through the busy streets and mix but they are right behind me in no time. I change lanes and rush towards the only place I know. The police station. I am not going to go there literally. But I know they are going to stop following me because they aren’t wearing the helmet, and there has to be a checking post on that lane.

 

They leave!

 

I leave!

 

I am irritated. But since I am already around the place, I think I might drive through that place. It’s a calm place. Trees, sun, after rain winds. I haven’t visited this place in a long time, a very long time. And the whiff of the place brings nostalgia. This place is good. Why did I stop coming here again? I used to visit this place so often, almost every time I came to this part of the city. What happened again?

 

Anyways, I am speeding through. I am slowing down. The roads are dead empty. There is literally no one. The sun is peeking through the trees. The flowers are thrown about. It is good. There is a little calm. The chaos inside my mind isn’t cured, but its soothed for a while.

 

There is a lump in my throat as I am steering around. But I have to go. I mean I do wish I’d stay here and keep staring at sun till I can, I wish I didn’t have things to worry about. But the sun is leaving too, and I know I have to go. So I go.

 

And as soon as I leave the trees, the city overpowers me, all those people who cross roads as if they don’t care for their lives, all those bike riders who think that riding a Royal Enfield gives them power to zigzag and trouble others, the other drivers who ride a long lost bike flaunt themselves too and get on my nerves. All the thoughts, all the problems, every little detail since the last year come racing towards me. It’s been a little difficult. I can’t say it’s too much. But I’d rather it be a little easy. Despite everything I was hoping 2019 to be a teeny bit better. So far, no luck!

 

As I ponder over my luck, my phone beeps. It buzzes. I avoid. It vibrates. I still avoid. I avoid it for full 5 minutes and then I pick up. It’s a friend. A good friend. I can’t, just can’t avoid him. But I already talked to him in the morning. Wait; did I say something in the groggy, sleepy state that I shouldn’t have said? But just the first words are a deceit. It’s his roommate. He knows me too. I mean he is the friend that you bear with because of the other friends that you hang out. We don’t talk these days. We didn’t even talk when we lived in the same city. But here he is calling me from my friends’ number, and I have picked up and stopped speaking after hello.

 

“Why didn’t you call me from your number?”

 

“Just..”

 

I know the answer. I mean the last two calls that he has made me this year was because he wanted a favor out of me. Not that I am keeping a tab. You’d see how hypocritical this sounds. But I only remember the number of calls he has made me, is because, that are the total number of calls he has made to my number in his entire life.

 

So what does he want now?

 

“Yeah, so listen, who this Hamlet was, and can you elaborate what this means?”

 

‘I am driving. Can we talk later?”

 

“Umm, actually I am going to an acting class you know, and wanted to know this before that. And you see everyone knows me there, (he is a novice anchor) it’s a matter of image now.”

 

Dead silence!

 

I really don’t want to discuss the idea of being or not being, standing in the middle of the road. In simpler words I am in no mood of helping. But I feel disgusted at myself. And so I bring myself to a halt at the corner, where a few vehicles are parked and begin the task of explaining Hamlet and his dilemma to a man, who, by the end asked me “wow you know what a protagonist is.” (I thought only people who went to acting classes were taught who a protagonist is.)

 

“What did you think I was some dumb person?” (Who cannot make anything of their lives)

 

“No, No, I didn’t mean that.” He wants to know about a Gertrude speech too. Well, Macbeth? Can you tell me about any other plays?”

 

“Look, I am not at home right now, we can talk later. Sorry. Bye.”

 

I want to go back for a last look at sun peeking through, but he has gone. The moon has started shimmering, and the after office traffic is peeking up. I go towards home.

 

As I enter home, there is some heated discussion going on. See, my results aren’t the only problem these days. It all started since 2018, and it has been all stretched through. It needs to give me a breather now. It really does. Anyways, as everyone says that we need to stick up to everything that life throws at us- like I have a choice; I stick up. Meaning, I go to my room.

 

The only thing that’s bringing me to be wiser is kept on my desk. I smile, or at least pretend to. The books are winking at me. Another set of savior, while I constantly avoid reality!

 

Now, seriously the books are making me wiser or should I start naming my birthday posts- “A year older, a year dumber!”

Reader’s Dilemma!

Do you remember everything you read? Like, every single plot, every single theme of the book, or protagonists’ name or every detailed thought that occupied his/her mind?

 

I mean I know it is insanely impossible, but wouldn’t life be so much easier? I mean there are times when I need references from something I have already read, and yet I am blank. At times like these I wonder, what was the point of reading it when I have already forgotten it?

 

And then there is the trouble of reading it again. What with all the other unread books, I will never be able to finish what I want to read if I keep piling up the list. I should make peace with that now when I have books marked ‘to be read’ on my Kindle app, some post-its thrown about here and there, some names written on the back of my notebooks and journals, some screenshots found on the internet, some names scribbled in the notes app on my phone, some books already bought, some added in the cart just for the sake of it!

 

But coming back to remembering whatever I have read, now that would make a whole lot of things easier for me, especially when it comes to my exams. I’d give you an instance. I like reading classics, unlike what Mark Twain said, “Classic- a book which people praise and don’t read” I believe in reading them which also helps me in my studies and papers. However, this not-remembering stuff isn’t quite cool. What is the point of reading something 5 years earlier and not remember it when asked surprisingly in an exam? Now I know it sounds insane, but be that as it may, people expect you to remember everything, every single thing that you have read, ever, even if it is a name of a dog that the protagonist owns in a 1920 novel written by so and so!

 

Again, what’s the point exactly!!

June Reads!

June was supposed to be the month where I barely read, or barely finish at least one book. Contrary to my assumptions, these are the following books that I read I June and I am pretty sure you can judge me for reasons to follow!

I am into mythical reads and the retelling of the Mahabharata from Kunti’s point of view was not only poetic but also so very enchanting. Initially, this was the plan, to finish the above book and go back to studying for the exams. What I did, instead, was this:

I kept telling myself that I am studying for the exams but I got bored and so I only thought of, I repeat only thought of scraping through the pages of this:

I ended up finishing this too.🤓🤐

And this was lying at my table for so long that I took pity on it and picked it up next. Now, the pity went too far, for I finished this midway of June.Now, really Moushmi you need to study for exams. And so I did. But the papers could ask you anything from fiction, non-fiction, dystopian. And so the next book knocks on the door, makes the puppy face and allures me. Okay, of cfurse they can ask me anything from this book too so why ever not. And hence my last book:

And after this exam fever really came soaring by and I fell into his arms, callously. And now with everything over I keep thinking “Oh Lord, what have I done!!”

 

May Reads!

May might not have been as fruitful a month as April in terms of reading, but it was fun all the same.

virko

This was the second book in the series, and I am still skeptical about picking up the third one. Though it was better than the first one with more magic and demons but still I am not sure if this is such a great read.

gringo

 

Now, this one was really gripping, in the beginning that is. I went on a roller coaster ride, but then the running got too much, and it became mundane for me. A fair read!

 

jos boys

I love the March family, however much goody-good all of it sounds and I was only sorry to end the Little Women series with Jo’s boys.

 

march

Wait, so I was missing the March family too much, so I went to this amazing book and read about Mr. March and his life from his point of view. The book discusses in detail what happens when Mr. March is away from his family during the war. And the book is one of the best I have read.

poetics

 

Now, come one who am I to judge this! The writer must be judging me instead murmuring, “What the hell is she doing with my little book?”

bitar

This was a very short poetry book and each one shook with different emotions. A quick read dealing with themes of war and death.

 

 

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Don’t know why I really bothered to even finish this! I just don’t know! DO NOT PICK THIS- I mean my point of view. At least read the reviews before you think of reading this. I thought this was going to be hilarious, but it was disastorous.

 

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Forever waiting forGgodot at the Becket international airport! I think I might just grow old and die at the very same airport!

Well, that’s it for today. Though I am pretty sure my books to be read in June is going to go down drastically. We will see!

How about you guys? Any fascinating book that you are reading?