An actual review? Yes, I still write them!

Yes, I’m still reading and I’m still writing. The writing is mostly my own and not fit for public view yet but I have been getting back into reviewing books.

I’ve been writing reviews on and off for the Book Reporter for a few years now and recently picked up The Ghost Clause by Norman Howard. If you’re interested, you can read my thoughts here. It would be a great vacation read, just saying.

Clearly, I have no photography skills

I’ve also joined a new Instagram read along hosted by @RedStarReviews. The July read was Jhereg by Steven Brust and if you haven’t heard of this series — GO FIND IT NOW! It’s awesome. It’s about a crime lord, Vlad Taltos, who moonlights as a security specialist, and yea, he also kills people because why not be an assassin too. And, there are dragons! Yes, I know that’s a lot but trust me, it’s worth it.

Next up on the read along is Horus Rising by Dan Abnett which I’m looking forward too. I’d offer up another bad pic but I just ordered it from my local bookstore today. You’ll have to wait for that beauty.

In the mean time, look at all my new library holds that came in. Where to start…

Look at me being all artistic with the black and white
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The Republic of Thieves Read Along – 3

The Republic of ThievesThe third week, and knee deep in trouble. I love this series. 🙂

Lynn’s Book Blog is hosting this week’s questions.

The election competition.  Sabetha isn’t wasting any time throwing pranks at Locke and Jean.  Mostly it seemed fairly harmless, or at least not overly serious, until they were kidnapped and put onto a ship and taken out to sea.  What did you make of Sabetha’s latest plan? And what did you think about the way she executed it?

Well, give her credit, she thought ahead. The liquor license is sort of funny but annoying since they have to spend money to buy everyone off but, given time, I think Locke and Jean would have done something like that too. That kidnapping though wasn’t something one throws together in a few hours time. I think she should get extra credit here; she’s very good at the little details. But, it seems too easy to just get them out of the way; she seems too competitive for that kind of thing, so I’m slightly disappointed in her. Or, she’s actually that scared of what Locke and Jean can, and will, come up with. Or, she just wanted to see if they could get out of this mess and it was just to buy her more time.

During the escape overboard and Jean’s rather subtle nose dive into the water – I was curious about the lights Locke saw deep in the water when he was performing his rescue – Locke thought they looked different once he was under the waves which I suppose they would but he also had the feeling that he was being watched?  Do you think this relates back to the Eldren or some other presence?

I immediately went to the bondsmage when I read this but the Eldren make more sense. I really, really want to know how they fit in and the backstory there. The fires were both cool and creepy. I’m not convinced these are plain old fires, cuz, also, fire underwater doesn’t just happen. Maybe the ritual Patience performed has left him with some lingering side effects and he can now see things like this. Someone, tell me more!

Given that Locke hadn’t seen Sabetha for five years how did you think their first meeting together went (well, it wasn’t strictly speaking their first meeting of course – were you surprised that Jean and Locke hadn’t figured out that the woman pickpocket was Sabetha?) and also what did you make of Jean and Sabetha’s reaction to each other?

Ugh. My first thought when he bumped into the woman, “”No, no, check your pockets. Something just happened and why are you being so lazy!” No one just bumps into Locke unless he wants it to happen and while he wasn’t paying attention, he should have known something was up. Jean was late to this party too. I want to give them a break since they are playing catch up but this was too easy for Sabetha, which I’m sure is all the more reason for her to do it.

During the actual face to face meeting, I think Jean was right to be skeptical, and Locke should have been too, but he’s too caught up in the idea of her. Jean, oh Jean. He put up a good front but I think he knew Locke was too far gone for any logical arguing so he gave in. I think he’s hurting too much and doesn’t want to see them together anyway. Locke, well, he was just a dumbass; he falls for her so easily and she knew he’d do it all over again.

So, the gang have arrived in Espara and already the plans have gone wrong through no fault of their own!  Jail for a year plus lose a hand for slapping a noble?? What do you think of the justice system in Espara and how does this bode for the gang?

Slightly harsh to lose a hand over a fight, but you play by their rules when in their city. I did like the thinking, and collaboration, between Locke and Sabetha on getting Moncraine out of prison. Of course, if the two of them could find a way to work like this all the time, just think of what they could accomplish. I think Chains may have to help out in the end, or maybe Locke and Sabetha can work together long enough to keep everyone in one piece and out of jail for the time they’re there.

The acting company are finally coming together and we’re watching the gang as they try to read, act and grab the best parts – are you all ‘happy face’ with the whole theatre scenes or, sad face!  Also, I can’t help feeling like this whole storyline is a step out of character for the gang.  Any ideas of how it will play out??

I don’t see the point of this story line. I think I’m all sad face and I don’t know why. It just doesn’t fit for me. I get the training, and Chains wanted all of them out of his hair for a bit, and the need to get themselves out of trouble on their own is going to be a needed lesson for them, but a play? It doesn’t do much for me. I do love that’s where the title comes from though! I have faith this will all make sense in the end.

We are also being introduced to a number of new characters, particularly Moncraine and Boulidazi.  What are your first impressions of these two and the other new characters in the Company and any particular likes or dislikes so far?

Moncraine is interesting but he can get annoying fast and I see that being a source of tension. I’m also predicting he’s going to try and get in Sabetha’s pants and that’s when Locke is going to go all crazy. The boy got upset when someone else would be kissing her on stage!

Boulidazi, I’m not sure what to think of him yet. He’s obviously going to be trouble and I think he knows more than he’s letting on.

The rooftop scene and the apology.  How did it all go so wrong?  And how will Locke get out of this latest fix with Boulidazi?

Ok, give the boy a slight break — he tried. If he would only stop talking, his life would be so much easier. And, they all need to learn how to talk less because this is going to go to hell all so fast now. I’m starting to think Chains has a rather sinister reason for sending them there.

Republic of Thieves Read Along – 2

So, week 2! And, I did a really craptastic job of visiting other blogs in the first week of this read along. Thanks to work and it’s now second week of conference hell, I’m now in Las Vegas. I’m actually sitting in my room working with the promise of room service in the next 40 minutes or never, but, the good news, week 2 of the read along! Forgive me if I ramble this week; writing with no sleep. Yep, I take chances.

This week covers chapter 3 thru interlude “Bastards Abroad” and is being hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow. Go visit!

Blood And Breath And Water: Patience tells Locke that the ritual to save him is serious business. She wasn’t kidding… What did you make of this scene, and do you think any of it might (perhaps literally) come back to haunt Locke?

Um, he now sees dead people (what the hell Bug!). Locke bought in, thanks to Jean (go Jean!), and when his stubborness kicked in he finally, I think anyway, understood what he was in for and I don’t think he was truly ready. Of course, it was also nice to see he wasn’t ready to die yet either. Then again, who could be ready for something like that.

Patience is not one to mess around with, the woman can reign down hell on you in an all very real way. The body painting and dreamsteel were great elements to the ritual. She doesn’t play around. She told him she’d basically rip his soul apart and comes close. I’d like to think Locke learns a lesson out of all of this but…it’s Locke, so.

Orphan’s Moon: Back to the childhood of the Gentlemen Bastards, and here we get another ritual, this one in service to the Nameless Thirteenth. It looks as though it might be Locke vs. Sabetha, round two – but this time Locke seems to be a little slow on that uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?

I think Sabatha thought it would be her. I think she thought she deserved it but maybe Chains wanted to take a chance on Locke and see what he would do with the opportunity. I think Chains has a soft spot for Locke and he wants him to step up and thought that if he gave him this chance, he might become everything that Chains wants him to be and thinks he can be.

Sabetha, I think, sees all of this going on. She see that Locke is the favorite, and without much work, and even if he has talent, she confident, smart, and her intuition tells her she needs to find a way around this bond between Locke and Chains or leave.

Poor Locke though. He really is helpless around Sabetha. He’s blinded by love and his own ability to be so stupid sometimes that he doesn’t see what’s going on, or maybe he can’t see it, or doesn’t want to see it. Or maybe Locke is just playing dumb in the hope that Sabetha won’t see that he’s worming his way into her spot in the gang and wants to take over and kick her out. Although, I don’t think what’s going on is intentional though, just the dynamics of the group are changing.

Um, I’m really tired and am starting to ramble. Move on to the next question. Please.

Across The Amathel: This chapter takes a breather for quite a bit of Eldren history, while Locke starts recovering. What do you think of the history lesson, and Patience’s ominous speculation regarding the Eldren? Is this something you’d like to know more about?

Locke needs to ask more questions. I want to know more. One of the reasons I like these books is sections like this one. I start getting comfortable with the world (in a very good way) and then Lynch goes and adds another layer. He builds new worlds inside one I thought I knew and was beginning to understand. They also happen to be a rather terrifying group of individuals. When can I have more? Please tell there will be more about this soon!

Striking Sparks: The gang’s off to Espara, after a bad summer and a pretty thorough dressing-down from Chains, and we finally get to the source of the book’s title – they’re bound for the stage! What are your thoughts on this latest ‘challenge’ and the reasons for it?

Yea, that many teenagers in the house — of course he sent them away! I kinda like it though. It’s the type of scheme they need to work out for themselves and I’m sure it’ll be an interesting play as well. If there happens to be one, that is.

The Five-Year Game: Starting Position: The election gets underway with a party (as you do) and before it’s even over, the Deep Roots party has problems – and not just thanks to Sabetha. What do you make of Nikoros and his unfortunate habit?

Ugh. I’m not surprised. Locke and Jean, well, nothing can be easy. It’ll be interesting to see how they get around this bit so it doesn’t cause problems for them but I’m not worried. I think this is going to a really interesting election.

Bastards Abroad: The gang arrives in Espara, and already they’ve got problems (nicely mirroring the Five Year Game!)… This aside, we’ve also seen some more of what seems to be eating at Sabetha. Do you sympathise with her, or is Locke right to be frustrated with her?

They’re both at fault. Sabetha thinks Locke should get it. Locke just wants to understand but Sabetha isn’t interested in explaining. I do understand why Sabetha is so frustrated though. Sadly, it’s not something that’s going to go away. Obviously, Locke isn’t going to get over her and I don’t know what she wants with him. Sometimes it seems as though she might like him, or at least have a brotherly love for him, and other times she probably wants to kill him for one too many reasons to name. I get that. Then again, Locke has every right to be frustrated and annoyed with her too. She strings him along a bit, gives him hope that there might be some far off chance (let’s face it, that’s all Locke needs to start scheming) but then doesn’t talk to him for several days. What’s the poor boy to think! Both of them need to tossed in lake right now.

Republic of Thieves Read Along – 1

Read Along Week 1

The Republic of ThievesThe Republic of Thieves Read Along! You have no idea how excited I am for this. I’ve got a million things going on — traveling for work, taking a class on historical fiction, yoga, planning a vacation, and just remembering to breathe as I run from one thing to the next. But, I don’t care about any of that right now. Yay for this!

Dab of Darkness is hosting this week’s questions. If you want more info, want the schedule, and want to see who is hosting in the upcoming weeks, go to Little Red Reviewer.

Prologue through Intersect I is covered in this week’s reading.

1) We get to reminisce with several old friends in this section – Carlo, Galdo, Chains. How did you like this? Bitter sweet or happy dance?

Bitter sweet, with a side of happy dance. I loved all these characters in the previous books so it was nice to have them back, even if only for a short time. For some reason, I particularly missed Chains; it was nice to see him being fatherly to Locke, since he’s rockin the death bed right now.

2) Finally, the infamous Sabetha makes a physical appearance, albeit in Locke’s reminisces. What are your impressions? How do you think the romance, if there is to be one, will play out?

I think I like her, so far. Truthfully, I’m not sure what to think of her since she’s being filtered through Locke’s eyes, and, well, you know, he’s not always the best judge. How will a romance play out? Sad. It will end badly, sadly. I’m willing to hold out for a happy ending though. Any chance of that?! Yea, probably not, but I can go there, for Locke’s sake.

3) After trying absolutely everything to save Locke, Jean still won’t give up. What did you think of that little pep talk he gave Locke concerning Patience’s offer of healing?

This is why I like Jean — right to the point. And Locke listens. Jean needs to be all — we’re doing this so shut it more often. Of course, I’m with Locke on it being a bad idea to fix this election but it means he’ll be alive, and really, it’s not like he hasn’t gambled with his life before. Come to think of it, isn’t that where all the fun is for these two?

4) Locke has a few caveats to working for the Bondsmage. Wise or just Locke grasping for some control over his life? What would you ask Patience?

Grasping for control. I agree with him on wanting caveats though. Locke’s pretty good at seeing a few steps ahead and he needs that for this upcoming ploy.

I don’t know what I’d ask Patience. It would be something so boring and mundane — like what gifts I’m going to buy people for the holidays because I loathe shopping and thinking about what to buy people is torture — that she’d probably just leave the room.

5) At the end of this section, we see that all is not as Patience laid it out. How much do you think Patience knows of the plot to off Locke and Jean? Do you see it interfering in the rigged election?
Leave it to Locke and Jean to step in something like this. I have all the confidence they will somehow get out of it, when Sabetha shows up and gets them out of it. That can happen, right?!

The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 5

The Shadow of the SunIt’s week five of The Shadow of the Sun read along. Also, the end of the read along so I’m writing this post with a glass of wine to celebrate the conclusion of a good book. This week, we’re covering chapters 29 – end. Once again, thanks to nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness for putting together the questions.

As a side note, this has been a fun read along and I’m looking forward to book two more than ever. I’ll be doing a review soon and tying together a few of the posts because if you haven’t heard of this one, I’m going to try and make sure you do.

1) These final chapters show us much more of Iminor’s character and his growing Talent. What stuck out the most for you about how he handled the various exploding aspects of his life?

It’s hard to say. On one hand, he’s calm about all that’s happening to him and seems to be taking it in stride, as if he knew something like this might happen along the way. The seething hatred he’s nurturing toward Ellion may be a side effect of the stress he’s feeling (and Ellion’s night activities with Letitia which he has to know about) and I think he’s channeling that stress into not dealing with the problems with his growing Talent. As with the other Tan, he’s pretty good at hiding some, not all, of his feelings and I think he’d doing that and putting up a front so no one really knows what’s going on with him. I don’t see good things for him though in the future though.

2) While Rohini is a late addition to the party, she is an interesting one. What aspect of her character or objectives would you like to see more of in forthcoming book(s)?

I want her to kick more ass. That is all. Thank you. 🙂

3) Amien has been managing and maneuvering Ellion quite a bit in this last section. What do you think his motivations are?

Amien. I don’t know what to think of him. I want to like him, and in some respects, I can and do appreciate his skills, but I don’t trust him. He’s incredibly manipulative and that shows in the way he’s been treating Ellion. I don’t know what he’s up to and maybe he doesn’t know either which is why he’s pushing Ellion so hard. Or maybe he knows something that no one else does and that’s his motivation. Secrets, secrets…

4) Letitia continued to learn more about her abilities, but everyone agrees she still lacks the ability to go toe to toe with Nechton. What more would you empower her with?

Confidence. Loads and loads of it. I think she’s got some skill but having been groomed for something all her life, she’s not confident in the end goal. While she certainly has her convictions and very distinct lines of right and wrong, as well as a healthy respect for duty and responsibility, she’s not mentally equipped to deal with what she has to face. Does it sound like I’m worried about her? A bit. Not sure she has what it takes, although I’m hoping she pulls out all the stops in the end.

Also, another thing that sort of worries me, she makes bad choices. I won’t name him, oh why not, Ellion! How many times can she keep showing up naked with this boy.

As a note to clarify, I complain because I like it. 🙂 I’m totally enjoying all the bad choices they’re gettin’ on here.

5) Throughout this entire book, the deities have played an important, if a backseat driver, role. As a reader, how has this worked for you in the world-building/plot department?

I’ve enjoyed the way the gods have been interacting with the characters. On a larger scale, it’s set a tone for the book and shows just how important the gods are in the characters’ lives and the driving force, even on the sidelines, they can be.

Ellion’s making choices based on what he thinks the gods want but he doesn’t really know what they want, and no matter, he’s still guessing. In many ways, for as prominent as the gods are, they’re still not telling anyone what to do and that I do like.

As for the world-building, it’s an inventive way to show this world. I read in pictures and this book has been a great stream of images for me.

6) We had yet one more assassination attempt in the hot water baths of Sucello. Now that we are at the end of the book, what are your insights into who is behind these attempts?

I still have no idea. I want to say it’s Nechton but I’m not sure about that theory any more. Maybe it’s Carina back from the not-so-dead out to stop everyone after having gone crazy from the battle with Nechton.

7) Bealtan reveals much about our narrative hero, Ellion. From his reuniting with Conar, to the revelation of Amien’s intentions, to his argument with Letitia, and his own internal recriminations about himself. Here at the end, what are your lasting impressions of Ellion?

He’s still not sure of who he is or what he wants to be. I’m good with that actually. I’m enjoying his folly and I don’t think badly about him because I like him. Yes, I’m willing to gloss over some major flaws in his character because I think he’s a good guy at heart even if he isn’t so sure.

Some of you might disagree with me about this but sometimes a character like Ellion is what makes a story. Stories don’t move along when everyone gets along and everything happens according to plan. Bad choices make the story go round.

How long until book two? 🙂
Question for Barbara this week: Have you ever thought of a graphic novel adaptation of The Shadow of the Sun? Maybe Ellion’s early life or a spin-off dealing with the gods, or the Deluge, the battle between Nechton and Carina? nrlymrtl’s question about illustrations got me thinking about this one. There are so many great scenes that I think it could easily work in that form.

The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 4

The Shadow of the SunIt’s week four of The Shadow of the Sun read along. This week, we’re covering Chapters 22 – 28. Once again, thanks to nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness for putting together the questions. I will be around to discuss with everyone this week.

1) Ellion and Letitia finally have not 1, not 2, not 3, but four trysts in this section of the book. What insights into the characters did you gain from these assignations?

Umm, that they need to learn to keep their pants on. OK. That’s obvious.

Actually, it occurred to me that these are two very hurt people looking to assuage guilt and be assured by someone, or something, even if that something is sex, that what they’re feeling is normal, and that it’s OK to feel they way they do. Letitia has no idea what she’s up against and has no faith in her abilities. Ellion is running so fast he’s bumping into every wall, real and imagined, that he can find as if he’s doing it out of some need to punish himself. Ignore this. I seriously have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m not going any further with my analysis than that.

2) Letitia’s retinue has diminished even further. How did this affect you as the reader and how do you think it will affect the dynamics of the remaining Tanaan?

It’s making me nervous! Barbara, please stop the killing! 🙂

Are they going to make it is the question that keeps rattling around in my head. Also, I’m beginning to think Amien is slightly useless on the wizard front. I want him to do more than throw green bolts. For god sakes, he a wizard! Also, I want him to get off Ellion’s case. Ellion needs some tough love but there’s too much guilt being passed between them to help matters.

I do think it’s starting to stress the Tanaan though. They’ve watching so many of their friends die that it has to be hard to them.

3) We’ve learned a bit more about the missing Carina in this section. What do you think is in her grimoire that has Letitia so secretive?

I think Letitia’s embarrassed because she doesn’t understand what she’s reading. She’s obviously had no training, believes that she’s supposed to know and understand everything on her own, and doesn’t want to admit this to anyone. I think she’s also terrified of what she has to face.

Letitia said she was willing to die if needed, so she seems to understand on some level what she’s up against, but I think she’s truly misread everything and it’s not her fault at all. It’s almost as though everyone expects her to know. How can she understand, be capable, if no one can or will help her? I’m feeling bad for her but also — keep ya pants on!

4) We’ve heard plenty about how much Ellion’s vow not to draw power means to him. But then we also see him finding several ways to feel, touch, smell, and use someone else’s power. What do you make of this and where do you think it will take Ellion?

Oh, all the wrong places. Totally off topic, is that a lyric to a country music song because it feels like it? Also, it fits with Ellion right now. This boy. I like him, I want him to finally come around and be what he’s supposed to be but, can he do more to make me question his judgement? Can he make a good decision here? He’s such an addict when it comes to power and I give him some credit for holding himself back but he’s cheating. He knows it too but doesn’t seem inclined to stop at all.

5) Nechton also played a larger role in this section. Which aspect has caught your attentions so far?

That he’s pretty much a badass. Although, Ellion’s description of Nechton when he sees a vision of him while touching the Spear is kinda eye opening. It’s a rather sexual description too which for Ellion is all normal. I mean, really. Pants. On. Ya just had sex too…it’s impressive but…not a race boy.

6) The mummers were in and out of this section, turning up in city and on the river. What did you make of their antics?

I found them disconcerting. They know entirely too much. Each time they showed up I was waiting for trouble. Although, they have been amusing and let’s face it, the death toll is a bit high not to laugh at something.

7) So far throughout the book we have gotten maps as we read. How is this working for you as the reader?
I like it. It helps me visualize the setting, where they’re going, and how they’re getting there. While I’m awful at directions, and honestly can’t read a map to save my life, (While in California last year, my husband asked where we were and I told him somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. That was all I could come up with.) I appreciate seeing the terrain. Although, if it’s possible to drop a temple on a corner where they need to turn, that would help me so much.

The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 3

The Shadow of the SunIt’s week three of The Shadow of the Sun read along. This week, we’re covering Chapters 16-21. I’ll post some links to other posts later in the week. Once again, thanks to nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness for putting together the questions.

1) Up to this section, we believed the Basghilae could not cross water, but we learn to the detriment of our heroes that this is not so. What further hidden abilities do you think might crop up from these walking dead?

I think maybe they’re learning as they go. The puppeteer, that’s what I’m going to call whoever is controlling these things, is figuring out as he/she goes and has figured out a way to get them into water. I’m waiting for them to fly now.

2) As the party enters the human lands, they come up with a cover story and request that Letitia remove her torc. She refuses. Do you think her decision was the correct one?

I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong answer. Letitia thinks she’s doing what’s right and believes that she bears the burden, always. She can’t simply remove the torc and pretend to be something she is not. I understand that devotion and sense of ownership but I think she also put the group in danger, and in her quest to not run from who and what she is, she doesn’t stop to think about the group as a whole. These people have sworn to protect her, and many have died trying, and while I do see her point, she could have given in for a short time. People are learning to compromise for her; she needs to compromise for others too.

3) At one point Ellion lingers over the warding process, specifically warding Letitia, and how a person must be completely nude for wards to be put in place. I’m going to leave this one wide open for comment ;).

He he. Ellion has got an imagination and knows how to use it. That boy has lots o’ sex on the brain.

4) Ellion makes a tough decision to leave the Tanaan and while he watches them leave he has a huge epiphany about his inner motives. How do you think this will affect his actions and motivations the rest of the book?

Oh Ellion. I so like him but I do wish he’d think a moment. He’s so worried about what his being there will mean that he doesn’t think about what his not being there will mean.

Letitia couldn’t take off her torc because she understands what it means to bear responsibility. Ellion likes to run and he thinks this is going to be the right answer in this situation as well. I don’t. Obviously, he has some power that’s going to be needed and he needs to stick it out and see what happens.

5) We saw the Tanaan and Ellion in some interesting situations of a more personal nature in these chapters, from the Night Butterflies to cutting in at a dance. What did you make of these instances, what further cultural differences along these lines do you foresee happening, and have you ever been a part of such a situation?

I’m going to tell a story here.

A few years back I had to go to Las Vegas for work. I invited a friend who had never been there to join me so we could explore. One evening, we took a stroll down the Vegas Strip and stopped in front of Treasure Island to watch the show. I’m sure it’s changed over the years but when we were there the show consisted of two pirate ships, one full of pirate women and one full of pirate men. They taunted each other something along the lines of:

Male pirate: “Surrender women!”

Female pirate 1: “Never! Why don’t you come over here and board us, boys…”

Female pirate 2: “Yes, boys, we’re all wet and hot from all the fighting. Come and board us.”

Not too raunchy, I mean Vegas is trying to be a family destination, but enough raunch to still be Vegasy. It was nothing too memorable until the following day when we ran into a few people I knew and they asked if we had the chance to see anything. We mentioned our walk down the Strip and watching the Treasure Island show. The following was said to us:

“That show is so cute. The boy and girl pirate flirting like that.”

Yeah. My brain kept yelling at my jaw to remain shut. Cute. Flirting. Um, I should also point out that all the pirates, women and men, looked as though they stepped out of a strip show soaking wet. Not the way I would have described it. It was slightly awkward and we had a great laugh after. Then again, maybe our brains just go to the dirty faster.

6) Once again, we were treated to some fight scenes. What stood out for you about these scenes?
I’m always amazed how fast everything happens in a fight scene. When I’m reading, it feels like it lasts forever but it’s minutes and people are dead and others struggling to survive when it’s over. I sometimes skip over fight scenes because they can be too violent. These scenes are adding a lot to the book and I haven’t once felt like any of it was too much.