Storm’s Clouds Review

Storm’s Clouds by J.W. Golan

I could not wait to get into this book, and thankfully I had it within arm’s reach when I finished Storm’s Herald. Like I said in my review of Storm’s Herald, I did indeed receive Storm’s Herald and Storm’s Clouds in exchange for review, but all opinions expressed are my own! VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: this review does contain a spoiler for the first book (Storm’s Herald). Nothing that will change the plot dramatically or ruin it, and I did suspect this once I was about ¾ through the book, but if you want to read it completely spoiler free then don’t read this review! All my other reviews are spoiler free unless explicitly stated.

Everything is really well explained at the start of the book, not explicitly but through the first few pages of character interaction so if you forgot anything in the previous book you can work it out pretty quickly. Of course, I had finished the other book seconds earlier so that wasn’t such a problem. The chapters in this book are really long, and it can be a bit on the nose sometimes, but there are moments of real humour where I genuinely laughed. I loved that they set off on a quest with no clear plan except ‘find a dragon’ when they had no idea where it was. Again there is a lot of jumping to random perspectives for a few pages to see what is happening elsewhere, but I had got used to it at this point and I could generally tell how they were linked to the main story at this point. There was a lot more of the Fae court and the magic school in this book as well as the quests, including lots of focus on Princess Elise and what she was up to. There was more tension in this book than in Storm’s Herald, which had me reading faster and faster!

THIS IS THE SPOILER. Okay, I’m done yelling about it being a spoiler. What I want to talk about here is Garth. Garth has enough personas to fill a city here people, and they are very varied. Garth is actually Gwythr, a guy who was a hero in the Fae’s war. He’s now human and wanders around as Garth, except when he is Gyaltso, an old dude who turned Kalden’s hair white then straight up left him which I found hilariously random. I have several problems with Garth. The first is quite petty but I think Garth’s nickname of ‘little bird’ for Lynette is so creepy and it made me cringe and my skin crawl every time he said it. Maybe it’s meant to be cute, but NOPE. And even weirder, a trope I hate, is Lynette being *strangely attracted* to the bad guy (Garth) who is nice only to them. I know Garth isn’t technically bad, but he isn’t exactly good either. Also, this isn’t a problem but how does Garth get around so fast? Can he teleport? What?!

Anyway, back to the rest of review. Princess Elise was a lot more prominent in this book and although she was a little irritatingly perfect, I did like seeing what she was up to. It was quite stereotypical that the lady in waiting was a spy, like it wasn’t even subtle. At some points I felt there were too many characters, but if I just thought of the characters from the random jump arounds as one time things it was a lot easier to focus on the main ones. There were some giants who inexplicably spoke like Scottish people. Not sure what was going on there. Then there is Waya. Waya is introduced as a boy and it is later revealed they are transgender, or at least very confused about their gender and sexuality. You see, Waya is in love with a girl, and to impress her parents they go on a quest to act manly. While I liked Waya as a character and I would definitely be interested in knowing more about them and whether they decided to have Garth magically change their body, it did feel a bit like a token because Waya is the only character I can think of who is on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.  Once again in this book time jumps around with no respect for how much time it seemed had passed.  One minute I’m chilling, and the next two years have passed, and I am like WHAT.

In conclusion I really enjoyed Storm’s Clouds. Especially the sentient library which moves books around to mess with the librarians. I could read a whole book about that library. I really liked the ending, and I very much need to know what happens next. Would I survive this book? Yeah I would, I’m living in that library.

A Noble’s Path Review (Blog Tour)

A Noble’s Path by I.L.Cruz

Happy Saturday everyone! I know I don’t usually post on a Saturday, but I guess this week you’re getting four posts- lucky you!

Following on from yesterday’s review of A Smuggler’s Path, I have the sequel, A Noble’s Path. A quick thank you to Rachel, who is hosting this blog tour, and I.L.Cruz who kindly sent me a copy of this book in exchange for a review! All opinions expressed are my own.

Here’s how the book describes itself:

Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.

The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.

Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.

And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.

Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.

I think I must begin with mentioning the cover of the book- the artwork is so pretty! I had great fun photoshopping pictures of both this book and the first in the series. I especially like the little streak of purple in Inez’s hair, I just think it’s so cool.

In a similar style to the previous book, A Noble’s Path feels a bit chaotic, albeit less so because I was now used to all the characters and the world. My favourite thing about these books is definitely the plot, always fast paced and never boring. Inez being forced to work with the people she normally tries to avoid, the King’s Men, was hilarious and fun to watch despite my frustrations at Inez not just giving in and getting together with a certain someone! (If you’ve read either of the books in the series you know who I’m talking about.) A couple of elements of the story feel quite random even after they’ve been tied into the plot, like the magic shells and the mild obsession with farm animals (Froth, the magic sheep).

I like Inez. She is quite realistic and doesn’t let her struggles with magic take over her life, trying to focus on other things as well. Her life is chaotic and she sometimes gets overwhelmed, constantly having to make difficult choices and worrying about an uncertain future. While most of us aren’t worrying about whether we’re being spied on by our friends or whether our magic shells will be stolen, everyone must make hard choices and the world at the moment does feel quite chaotic, making Inez more relatable. I would have liked some of the relationships and characters to be developed further, as the volume of characters and the constantly moving nature of the plot meant some felt a little underdeveloped. I would have enjoyed more of Inez and her mother’s relationship, which is quite tumultuous during the book but doesn’t get much time.

I devoured A Noble’s Path the moment I finished A Smuggler’s Path, desperate to find out what happened next, and I wasn’t disappointed. A Noble’s Path was just as action packed as the first book, I only wish it was a bit longer! I await the next book in the series excitedly and I recommend reading this magical, fun and dramatic adventure. Would I survive this book? Yeah, I would just have been chilling in the smugglers market and wandering around the forest.