Book Review: The Riyria Revelations

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The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan

While I enjoy a good fantasy novel, I am often leery to read one without a specific recommendation due to the prolific violence, language, and sexual content many contain within. I first became aware of Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations series when I noticed it constantly mentioned on various top literary lists. Next, I read an interview discussing the origins of his series and his desire to write books all ages could enjoy without the deterrent of content restrictions. Intrigued, I began reading the first book and quickly ordered the rest before I’d even gotten halfway through.

Originally self-published as six books, Orbit picked up the series and republished them as three separate volumes: Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire, and Heir of Novron. They follow the adventures of two thieves who unwillingly become entangled in political conspiracies when they are framed for the murder of the king. Each book consecutively builds upon the series as the plots begin interweaving and developing in twists and turns. And while there is magic, it is not the center of the story as is seen in many fantasy novels. It adds to the story rather than defines it.

The Riyria Revelations are written with the perfect balance between humor and action. They are perfect for any reader who loves fantasy or simply a fun, action-filled plot.  For other readers who wish to branch out of their normal reading interests and explore the fantasy genre, this is an excellent place to start.

For more information on the author and books visit: http://riyria.blogspot.com/p/about.html

Review by Andover Public Library Staff

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Book Review: Poldark

Poldark

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

I first heard of the Poldark series after watching BBC’s Poldark starring Aiden Turner. Curious, I picked up the first novel and discovered that it exceeded every expectation I had. It is the story of Ross Poldark—a wounded British officer returning home after three years of fighting in the American Revolutionary War. But life takes a drastic turn when he discovers that his father is dead and the girl of his dreams is engaged to his cousin.  Grieving and angry, Ross turns his attention to his own derelict estate and the declining mining economy of Cornwall as he acquires a new resolve to help the suffering farmers and miners around him.

Winston Graham’s descriptions of the Cornish landscape and inhabitants were so gripping that I was immediately captivated by the story.  I very much felt that I understood his characters and the motivations behind their actions based on Graham’s portrayal of their way of life. Characters have a breath of realism, as they are neither entirely good—nor entirely depraved —and each one struggles with his or her inner conscience daily. It was refreshing to step away from the stock characters so often seen in books today.

While the plot keeps a steady pace, it does take its time to develop and shape the story. This book isn’t for readers who instantly desire action or romance; rather, it is for readers who appreciate immersion into a way of life and a story that naturally evolves around its characters.  Furthermore, the story can become depressing at times as certain character’s lives take blow after blow from the harsh society around them. But watching as they stumble back and doggedly fight on is both inspiring and heartening.

Ross Poldark was a wonderful read, if at times a bit slow, and I would readily recommend it as a fantastic historical novel.

 Review by Andover Public Library Staff

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New Graphic Novels September 2018

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

Cross Time Capers by X-Men Blue

Curses! Foiled Again by Jane Yolen

The Flash vol. 14-27

Green Valley by Max Landis

Mystik U: 1-3

Revival 8

Star Wars: Mutiny at Mon Cala

Superman: Red Son

Trench Dogs

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New DVD and Audio Books September 2018

New DVDs

Adrift

Book Club

Chicago Med Season 1

Chicago Med Season 2

Chicago Med Season 3

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Ocean’s 8

Tag

This Is Us Season 2

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

 

New Audio Books

Carnal Curiosity by Stuart Woods

Dark Sentinel by Christine Feehan

Depth of Winter by Craig Johnson

Flight or Fright: 17 Turbulent Tales by Stephen King

Fugitive Six by Pittacus Lore

In His Father’s Footsteps by Danielle Steel

Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb

Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit by Amy Stewart

Shadow Tyrants by Clive Cussler

Texas Ranger by James Patterson

These Truths: A History of the United States, 970 Lepore, Jill

Us Against You by Frederick Backman

A Willing Murder by Jude Deveraux

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