Brilliant idea, flawed execution sadly

Stolen Ink (Ink Born #1)Stolen Ink by Holly Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I so, so badly wanted to give this book a higher rating but it was just too frustrating. When it started I was absolutely delighted and felt like I was stepping into a new world with its own rules where magic simply existed as a natural thing.

The idea of tattoo magic was brilliant, I could see them coming to life on the skins of the people visiting the tattoo parlour but then the story narrative went off sideways on a ranger that just never really felt earnt or properly explained.

Two many concepts were thrown into the story without any real level of depth or any sense of how they fit into the world.
The supposed romance element was almost non-existent, there was more chemistry between Dan and Ethan than with Dan and Isaiah imho and Caiden’s weird reaction to Dan’s friendship with his tattoo partner Kiern came totally out of left field.
Oh yeah on the romance front. Everything apart from kissing, as is sadly often the case in fantasy novels, happens off page. I’m not expecting erotica or porn without plot, I do, however, expect an author to give me something on page which demonstrates two characters are supposed to be in love.

As for the ending, well let’s just say that was a huge let down given everything that built up to it and as for being abrupt, if it had been any more instant cut off I’d have thrown my Kindle out the window.

There were also a few minor typos but as this an ARC they may get ironed out before publication. Because this is book one in a series, I’m hoping for a bit of better plotting and more exploration in the narrative as the series goes along.

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My all time favourite book – ever

Magician (The Riftwar Saga, #1-2)Magician by Raymond E. Feist

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan called Pug came to study with the Master Magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at Court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry.
“Yet Pug’s strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. For the dark beings from another world had opened a rift in the fabric of space-time to begin again the age-old battle between the forces of Order and Chaos.”

This is my all time favourite book of any genre ever. I must have read it more than 20 times over the years and it’s still my “go to” book for if I just want to get lost in a story.
I didn’t read it when it first published in 1982 but just a few years later, as an 18-year-old just finding my way into adult life and with a budding journalism career, I picked it up off the shelf of a local bookshop and had a revelation.

In Pug, Feist created one of the most complex and compelling characters I think I’ve ever read and he put him into a totally believable world, filled with amazing creatures, true evil and fascinating cultures which, while it resembled Medieval feudal England and 16th century Japan, was also wholly strange and exotic.

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