This is by far the best Schwab book I’ve read, and yet I’ve still come away from the experience in much the same way I’ve come away from reading all her other books, which is to say: I think that, on a technical level, this is an absolutely brilliant book and I can’t fathom giving it less than five stars, but I still have several criticisms. And I just know there’s going to be so, so many effusive and glowing five-star reviews of this book (they’re coming out already), which are well-deserved, but I’d still like to discuss some of the issues I had.
Al-Andalus is a gilded vision imprinted into the minds of many Muslim children, myself included. It is a dream of glory days long past, the Golden Age of the Islamic Empire, a time of prosperity and tolerance. The Bird King begins not in the midst of this glory age, but at the door of its downfall: the year is 1491. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand have laid siege to Granada, the last remaining stronghold of the great empire of Muslim Spain, tenuously held by the sultan and his retinue.
I’m really terrible at finishing series. Mainly, it’s because my memory is garbage, and so by the time a sequel comes out I’ve forgotten absolutely everything and have to re-read, and I’m really lazy about re-reading. Plus I have a short attention span and 99% of the time I prefer standalones or companion novels. But, mainly the memory thing, and because of that, I made the executive decision not to read series until they are complete, or nearly complete. So, I’ve been waiting and waiting on some of my favorite books to finish up so that I can finally get the payoff I’ve been waiting for.
A rather paltry number of books read this month, which is fine. For various reasons December was not a super productive month for me, but I’ll get into that below when I talk about some life updates. In any case, I managed to finish a series (the Folk of the Air), which felt very productive, as well as read an older fantasy novel. So, in all, though I didn’t read a lot, I’m happy with what I read. Continue reading “Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2019”→
2019 has been an odd reading year for me; I think that my reading tastes have been shifting quite significantly. I no longer read the massive amount of YA that I used to, and I’ve been reading quite a bit more fantasy. I feel like I’ve gone back to my roots, as my top three reads of the year are all straight-up secondary world fantasy, which has always been my favorite genre.
For the first half of the year I was…not in a slump, exactly, because I was still reading a lot, but I wasn’t really feeling super passionate about a whole lot of books, which is why you’ll see that I only have eight books on my list (out of 88 total read), with a good chunk of honorable mentions.
However, that means that the books that made the list are ones that I truly loved, books that pulled me out of my semi-slump and utterly captivated me, books that will stay with me for a long time. Continue reading “Best Books of 2019”→