The Monthly Round-Up: September 2015

The Monthly Round-Up - SeptWelcome to The Monthly Round-Up. Join me as I look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and my all important Book of the Month!

| Books Read |

I’ve managed to complete a few goals this September but oh no! I still haven’t finished The Daylight War! My excuse is that it’s under a dust sheet whilst decorating… and I think I’ll stick with it! But hurrah I did manage to tick off my goal of reading at least two books featured in my Top Ten… Complete Series I Still Haven’t Finished and in doing so tick two books off my Top Ten… Books on my Fall TBR. It definitely feels good to complete some goals! I didn’t write as many reviews as I should have liked but I’ll definitely be making up for it this October. In some semblance of order, here are the nine books I’ve completed this September:

| 1. |

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

| 2. |

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

| 3. |

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

| 4. |

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

| 5. |

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

| 6. |

Raffles by E. W. Hornung

| 7. |

Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell

| 8. |

The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan

| 9. |

The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

Book of the Month

The Way of Shadows

by Brent Weeks

| September Goals |

To read at least two books featured in my Top Ten… Complete Series I Still Haven’t Finished with at least one book finishing the series

1 of 2 | The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan

2 of 2 | The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

Status: Completed

To finish The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Status: p. 286 of 808 (35%)

To read at least two classics

1 of 2 | Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

2 of 2 | Raffles by E. W. Hornung

Status: Completed


| Goals for 2015 |

Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge: 91/100 Books Read (91%)

Status: +9% during September

Dragons and Jetpacks 2015 Reading Challenge: 38/50 Books Read (76%)

Status: +4% during September

| Reviews Posted |

4 and a half Stars

The Gathering of the Lost by Helen Lowe

              4 Stars

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

                  3 and a half stars

The Traitor Queen by Trudi Canavan

| Other Posts From September|

The Monthly Round-Up: August 2015

The Month Ahead: September 2015

Tough Travelling: Labourers – Blacksmiths

Tough Travelling: Magic Systems – The Magic Systems of Brandon Sanderson

Tough Travelling: Portals to Another Land

Tough Travelling: A Lady and her Sword

Bookish Beats: Assassin’s Creed Unity

Bookish Beats: Elysium OST

Bookish Beats: Belle OST

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Characters I Didn’t Click With

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Complete Series I Still Haven’t Finished

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Fictional Cities in Fantasy Literature

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books on my Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book Pairings

Teaser Tuesdays: September 01 – Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

Teaser Tuesdays: September 08 – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Teaser Tuesdays: September 15 – Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell

Teaser Tuesdays: September 22 – The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

Teaser Tuesdays: September 29 – Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Review: The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

The Way of Shadows

Book One of The Night Angel Trilogy

by Brent Weeks

Fantasy | 645 Pages | Published by Orbit in 2011

| Rating |

4 and a half Stars

This novel had been hiding on my bookshelf for so long that it’d become a part of the scenery. When I finally remembered it existed, dusted it off and got around to reading it, I was instantly hooked. The Way of Shadows is a non-stop, action-packed, thrill ride which remains tense, dramatic and intriguing throughout; leaving me with only one question – why on earth didn’t I read this sooner?

The perfect killer has no friends, only targets. For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.

The first two thirds of the book builds up the world and the characters, exploring their motivations and the various intrigues, wars and conflicts which plague the world of Midcyru. The plot twists and turns, the characters are all spurred by conflicting motivations and the potential for ruthless savagery at all times combine to keep you guessing right until the last moment. The last third of The Way of Shadows is a non-stop whirlwind of deadly action which I couldn’t get enough of. The fight scenes were beautifully written and choreographed; violent and bloody, throwing you right into the fray. If Shadow’s Edge starts where this book left off then readers are certainly in for a treat.

Midcyru is a vibrant and realistic world with enough description to add depth and perspective whilst keeping the narrative moving forwards.  It may take a few mentions to absorb all the different names of places and peoples but this isn’t a short novel, there are plenty of opportunities for soaking up all the detail. And sure, the term ‘wetboy’ is a little silly and incongruous with being a super-assassin but I still wouldn’t laugh in Durzo Blint’s face. This is a skilfully drawn out world populated by a myriad of fantastic characters which by all accounts will only get better.

Azoth is a great protagonist whose motivations are well thought out and implemented. I loved Momma K and Logan, who are both wonderfully contrasting characters with a lot of hidden depth. Durzo Blint is ruthless, merciless and absolutely fascinating; I couldn’t get enough of him. The horde of side characters are all intriguing, interesting and add more substance to the world… and who doesn’t love an absurdly weak and dangerously stupid king? The Way of Shadows is chock full of characters to love and hate with plenty of room left for growth and development in the rest of the trilogy.

The Way of Shadows is a great debut novel which surpassed all my expectations. If you’re looking for a whirlwind of fantasy action then look no further than The Night Angel Trilogy; Brent Weeks thoroughly deserves his reputation as a great storyteller and I am just itching to get my hands on the next book.

Bookish Beats Suggestion

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The Month Ahead: September 2015

The Month Ahead - SeptIn The Month Ahead, I will be rounding up the books I am currently reading, the ones I will start this month, and the ones I intend getting my mitts on… if I haven’t already! I will also be sharing any news about features or posts on Books by Proxy, and anything in the book world that has me all excited!

| Currently Reading |

Sept Currently Reading

Only three books on my currently reading pile! A drastic improvement from last month that’s for sure. Two chunky fantasy novels sit on the top of the pile, The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks and The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett, and one teeny tiny Flipback classic, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. But oh dear, poor Daylight War hasn’t been opened since January(!!!) and I can’t even give a real reason why… though ‘I love you Arlen Bales’ may have a little to do with it. That must be finished this month before I forget what’s happened!! It’s also a really good book (so far) so I feel quite guilty for having neglected it.


| Book Haul |

Somehow, despite being quite firm with myself since the last book haul, I found myself acquiring a number of new books! Oops! So new on the bookshelf are The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, The Heresy of Dr Dee by Phil Rickman, The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak, Red Rising by Pierce Brown, The Napoleon of Crime by Ben Macintyre, Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay and Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter. I also received The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins through Blogging for Books and Paris at War by David Drake through NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews. That should keep me going for some time!


| September Goals |

To read at least two books featured in my Top Ten… Complete Series I Still Haven’t Finished with at least one book finishing the series

Status: 0 of 2 Complete


To finish The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

Status: p. 286 of 808 (35%)


To read at least two classics

Status: 0 of 2 Complete


| New Features |

August was a month of new features so here’s a round-up of those not previously featured:

The Rapid Review – Can’t be bothered reading a long review? Just want to know whether a book is worth the effort? The Rapid Review hopes to save you some time and tell you (in my humblest of opinions) whether to give it a go. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of rapidity!

Top Ten Tuesday  – Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish – Expect a new top ten list every week! [Tuesday]

Teaser Tuesdays – Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly feature hosted by A Daily Rhythm – Expect a new teaser every week! [Tuesday]

Tough Travelling – Join me each Thursday for some Tough Travelling with the Tough Guide, hosted by Fantasy Review Barn. Inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland,‘ we will set out on a quest to track down the biggest tropes and clichés in fantasy fiction. [Thursday]

Bookish Beats – Music, much like literature, has the power to drive your imagination; it can lift the soul and create real emotion.This is Bookish Beats, a feature which will showcase some of the soundtracks which have enriched the worlds I’ve found between the pages. [Sunday]

The Monthly Round-Up – The Monthly Round-Up will look back on the past month to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted, the goals I’ve completed and which book I’ve chosen as my all important Book of the Month!


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