220 Alliance
192 Brown Coats

Archer's Asylum

I'm a big bloke (7ft tall) and I am forever reading. This will mostly be my thoughts as I am reading and possibly a review or two. You may know me as Archer.


I am basically a lurker. My life revolves around my wife, my cats, Books, and entertainment.


I'm working on building and setting up a forge and I'm generally one of those people who can be found causing or in the middle of mischief somewhere...



Seraphina - Rachel Hartman

Holy shit. This is honestly a first for me… Oh, hi by the way.


I’m actually left speechless by the force of the ending of this book, yes I know it’s the start of my review but I have just finished it and wow. There are no words.


Now I’m torn, not because I’m reviewing the ARC, but because I was friends with Rachel Hartman before I even had the desire to read her book. And this is probably going to be a gushing review.


I need to make this perfectly clear. My friendship with the author doesn’t make a difference to my opinion of their work.


I loved this book. More than I’ve loved a book in a long, long time. This book moved me with it’s simple, eloquent message: Love is not a disease. I know that this may sound fairly obvious to most everyone but I assure you that there will be people out in this world that believe that it is. This book beautifully conveys the importance of all emotion, not just love.


Seraphina is unique, both the book and the character, I have never read a fantasy quite like this. Gone are the long arduous quests. Gone are page after page of padding that could be summed up nicely with “We walked, and walked, and walked and just for a little change of pace… We walked some more.” This is a fantasy of intrigue. Very much a murder mystery if you will.This is a tale of knights and dragons. But not as you’d expect.


Without spoiling anything too much, I hope, Dragons are in one way everything you would expect them to be and at the same time they’re everything you wouldn’t and for that Rachel… I would like to pledge my undying love. The prose is beautiful. Shifting from the expected choices for the opinions of Phina to the cold, detached, almost forensic wording of the Dragons.


And the transition isn’t jarring. The two styles work well together in the context of this book, however, if I have one criticism it is… Would all the readers of this book be able to read and fully understand all of the writing without the use of a thesaurus? (That’s not a slight against the author but rather the education system.) Some of the word choices seem a little bit… obscure for what is being sold as a Children’s book. And I just wonder if it will be as appreciated as it deserves to be because of that.


The cast of characters seem to be richly developed in my opinion and with so many distinct personalities to write, that is a rare feat for an author of late. So many YA characters just seem to have about as much depth as a puddle. These characters are richly written and of a depth and forethought on the authors part that I have not encountered since… erm… well for a long assed time.


The pacing of the novel propels it along at a satisfying rate and the world building is smooth, believable, absorbing. Sure there are infodumps, but they’re cleverly blended infodumps that provide much needed backstory. Which helps round out the world (and unlike so many other fantasy novels recently, do not descend into the mind numbing minutiae of detailing everything).


Look, honestly, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Seriously, why the hell are you even still reading my review and not beating booksellers to death with your cold hard cash… Oh yeah… release dates… my bad. PUT THIS BOOK ON HOLD AT YOUR LOCAL RETAILER GODDAMMIT!


I mean it. If you love fantasy, put down the George R.R. Martin, step away from the Tolkien (yes I went there, deal with it), and bury the Rowling. This is a book that will keep you engrossed until the end and then will leave you shaking your fist and prodding Hartman with a stick until she finishes the next one. Because if a YA author can make a fan out of me, then surely she can out of you.




Archer, out!